Chandler Hoffman hopes first professional goal leads to more playing time for LA Galaxy

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica— Chandler Hoffman has been eagerly awaiting a chance to showcase his skills in a first team game and in his first start for the LA Galaxy, he did just that.

Hoffman scored his first professional goal in the 18th minute of LA’s 3-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over C.S. Cartaginés on Wednesday. The win allowed the Galaxy to qualify for the tournament’s quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.

A prolific goal scorer at the college level with UCLA, Hoffman first professional goal mirrored many of those goals scored at Drake Stadium as he found himself unmarked far post and easily tapped in a Michael Stephens cross for the team’s second goal of the night.

“It was huge,” said Hoffman, who had only scored in reserve games and friendlies during his time with the Philadelphia Union prior to be traded to the Galaxy in March. “I’ve scored a ton in the reserve league and in the friendlies, so to make it translate to meaningful games is huge. I just want to keep this momentum going forward.”

His first goal and first start under his belt, Hoffman hopes that he’s worked into the conversation for more minutes as the Galaxy seek to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

“Bruce told us tonight that we had a huge opportunity,” said Hoffman. “And I think that all of us who stepped on the field showed that we want to be playing as much as possible.”