CARSON, Calif. – Chandler Hoffman just can’t stop scoring in the USL PRO for LA Galaxy II, but as of yet, his goal scoring tally hasn’t translated to first team minutes for the Galaxy, something that the striker is eager to change.
Hoffman scored his eighth goal of the USL PRO campaign on Sunday as he helped Los Dos earn a 1-0 road victory over the Seattle Sounders FC Reserves. That was good enough to earn him a spot on USL PRO’s Team of the Week for the fourth time this season.
The goal against Seattle was a left-footed strike that went through the legs of former U.S. international goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and was emblematic of Hoffman’s confidence each time he steps on the field for LA Galaxy II.
“I am feeling really good right now,” Hoffman told LAGalaxy.com on Tuesday. “I feel like every time I step on the field, I am going to score.”
His eight goals with Galaxy II have helped Hoffman, who was acquired prior to the 2013 MLS regular season, make some inroads with the LA first team as he’s been placed on the game day roster three times this season. The appearances were Hoffman’s first on the Galaxy 18-man squad since being joining the team, but he has yet to make an MLS appearance for LA.
Although he’s continuing to improve with Los Dos, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says that Hoffman will need to offer more than just goals if he’s going to become a regular in his first team plans.
“He’s doing well,” said Arena who called him a possibility for U.S. Open Cup date against Arizona United on June 18. “He’s always been a goal scorer and his match fitness has improved, but we still like to see him a little bit more involved in the game even though one of the great skills in this sport is scoring goals and he’s done that.”
With an eye to correct those issues, Hoffman recently sat down with Arena to discuss his role in the squad going forward.
“I talked to Bruce last week about what he would like to see from me. He talked about link-up play,” Hoffman said. “Just make the conscious effort to come back, sometimes when there is a little chance, find a way to get the ball and create chances as oppose to always being in the box, and continuing to focus on what I am doing well, which is scoring goals.
“I have yet to play a MLS minute for the LA Galaxy, which has been hard to do, because I haven’t been consistently scoring goals,” he later added. “But I’m working hard. It is part of the grind, and it is part of being with the Galaxy when we are loaded up top, but when I get an opportunity, I am ready.”
Hoffman will seemingly have an opportunity to make his debut on Sunday when the LA Galaxy host intra-stadium rival Chivas USA for the final time at StubHub Center as captain Robbie Keane is currently away on international duty. The 23-year-old faces a tall order, however, as he’ll need to beat out target forwards Rob Friend and Samuel to earn the start.
“I’ve been training all week and I’m trying to make it a tough decision for Bruce as to who should start up top this weekend,” he said. “I feel like I’ve done enough make it difficult for him to make a decision.”
Even if he has to wait his turn for the Open Cup date, the confident striker believes that he’s ready to contribute.
“I love where I am at as far as the organization, it’s an incredible experience, and it feels good to learn from the players,” said Hoffman. “But I think I have learned and I am ready to step up to show what I have got.”