Union take UCLA forward Chandler Hoffman with their top MLS draft pick

Posted: January 13, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When the time came for the Union to make their first-round selection in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the club's brass didn't have to think too hard.

They simply took the best player available.

That player was UCLA junior Chandler Hoffman, a dynamic forward with one of the top pedigrees at his position in college soccer.

"Chandler was the best option available, and we didn't hesitate," Union manager Peter Nowak said.

Even though the Union are already well-stocked at forward, drafting Hoffman became even more appealing because of his Generation Adidas early-entry status. That means he won't count against the senior roster and his salary next year won't count against the cap.

"We have another young forward to develop, and we have a couple who have developed in the right way," Nowak said. "And we have time right now to make it work."

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Hoffman was the fourth-highest scorer in Division I this past season and a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, given annually to the top NCAA soccer player.

He scored 18 goals for the Bruins in 2011, the most in one campaign at the school since former U.S. national team star Joe-Max Moore tallied that number in 1991.

In his freshman season at UCLA, Hoffman played with current Union midfielders Amobi Okugo and Kyle Nakazawa.

"Knowing them will give me a certain comfort level that I'm very excited about," Hoffman said.

With their second-round picks, the Union drafted for depth in midfield and defense.

Their first second-round selection was 21-year-old Creighton midfielder Greg Jordan, a native of Naperville, Ill. In 2006, he participated in a U.S. under-17 national team training camp run by current Union assistant coach John Hackworth.

The Union's other second-round pick was Raymon Gaddis, a right back from West Virginia. An Indianapolis native, he is likely to be the backup to Union stalwart Sheanon Williams.

Wenger goes first. The expansion Montreal Impact selected Duke forward and Hermann Trophy-winner Andrew Wenger with the first overall pick in the SuperDraft. He was the ACC offensive player of the year last season, finishing with 17 goals and eight assists in 22 games.

Farfan to England. Union midfielder Michael Farfan is set for a two-week training stint with the English Premier League team Sunderland. The 23-year-old will return to the Union on Jan. 24, in time for the start of the preseason on Jan. 25.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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