CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their attacking depth on Friday by acquiring Chandler Hoffman from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
The 13th overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of UCLA, Hoffman made seven appearances for the Union in his only season for the club while being reduced to a reserve role. Although he struggled for time in Philadelphia, Hoffman was prolific for the Bruins as he scored 29 goals and 10 assists in his three years in Westwood.
Following training on Friday, Arena admitted that Hoffman should bolster the Galaxy’s forward depth, but the Galaxy boss “doubts” he’ll be on the bench come Sunday’s season opener against the Chicago Fire.
“He’s a good young player and we’ve known him from his UCLA days. He’s a young promising player, but we need to get him into our team and see if we can move him along as a player,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “We always look around for young promising players and he’s a guy that we’re familiar with. There’s no given with anything, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits into our environment on a daily basis and hopefully, he’s player that we can move him along well to help our team.”
Hoffman’s teammate at UCLA, LA third goalkeeper Brian Rowe believes that his college teammate could do big things at The Home Depot Center.
“It’ll be great. He has a knack for the goal and he gets into good spots so with good players like Robbie [Keane], once Gyasi [Zardes] gets back, he’ll be a good threat," said Rowe. "He considers L.A. to be his second home after going to UCLA and I think he’ll be happy and motivated to do well.
“He’s always one to stay late and put in the time to do work and improve himself. He’s one that always wants to keep learning,” Rowe added. “It’ll be a good personality to have around the locker room.”
Hoffman will become the fifth Galaxy forward under the age of 23—joining Jack McBean (18), Charlie Rugg (22), Jose Villarreal (19), and Gyasi Zardes (21) – but Arena doesn’t believe that “stockpiling” is the right term for what LA’s actions.
“I don’t know if that’s the right term. I hope that eventually, it becomes the right term for the description of these players,” said Arena. “They haven’t tasted a whole lot of success yet so we have to see. Hopefully down the road, they’re going to be players who are very important for the Galaxy.”
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