Once rumored to be selected as high as number three overall, Chandler Hoffman had to stick around on draft day, but eventually came off the board at No. 13 when the Philadelphia Union snapped him up. Chandler's finishing skills and savvy in the box should serve him well on a Union team that has a host of creative players, led by Sebastien Le Toux.
Prior to the fall, few expected Hoffman to be in this year's MLS Draft. Sure, he was a starting striker for one of the best teams in the country, but he was just a promising freshman in 2009 and then missed a big chunk of his sophomore season due to injury. Most saw a professional career in his future, but not until after his senior season in 2012 and only as a possible complimentary player. Then the Birmingham, AL native had a monster 2011 season as he helped UCLA to the College Cup and now he's a Generation adidas player.
Hoffman scored 18 times in 2011, showing a great finishing touch and knack for getting away from defenders and finding space in the box. He also added six assists, a sign of his ability to combine with his teammates. His nose for finishing and passing shone at the MLS Combine too, where he was one of the best players, but it was his intelligent movement that caught everyone's eye as he made good run after good run to get himself and his teammates chances. Once an afterthought for this draft, Hoffman showed all through 2011 with UCLA and at the combine that promise from his freshman year and missed talent while he was injured his sophomore year to make him one of those most coveted players in the draft.
He has a strong enough body at 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, but he's not going to intimidate anyone with his stature and he has enough speed to get by defenders, but no one is going to call him a speedster. What he does have is great soccer sense, from his good finishing, space on the field and great passing. With that, he's found himself to the top part of the draft, far more soccer player than athlete and that's said in the most complimentary way possible.
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