Roster moves before opener

Union goalie Zac MacMath works out during practice at Penn. TOM GRALISH / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Union goalie Zac MacMath works out during practice at Penn. TOM GRALISH / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Posted: March 03, 2013

With just hours to go before Major League Soccer's roster compliance deadline, the Union made two significant moves.

Forward Chandler Hoffman, the team's first-round draft pick in 2012, is headed to the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for a conditional SuperDraft pick in 2014.

Later Friday, the Union released third-string goalkeeper Chase Harrison.

The team opens its season Saturday as it hosts Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park.

"Chandler and I had an honest conversation about where he stood and we decided that this trade gives him an opportunity that he would not have had within our team this season," Union manager John Hackworth said in a statement issued by the team. "Our organization thinks very highly of Chandler, both on and off the field, and we wish him the best of luck as he continues to develop in his career."

Hoffman was the Union's only Generation adidas player. As such, he did not count against the salary cap, and did not take up a budgeted player's slot on the roster.

"It has been truly an honor and blessing to wear the Blue and Gold," Hoffman tweeted after the trade was announced. He thanked the Union and fans "for all the love and support I have received since day 1 of joining the team. I wish all the fans and the organization nothing but the best."

As all 20 of the budgeted player slots on the Union's roster are currently occupied, it's unlikely that the Union would have been able to get a player from Los Angeles in the trade.

Hoffman will be in familiar territory when he heads to southern California, having played college soccer at UCLA.

Also, Hoffman likely will see significant playing time for the Galaxy under coach Bruce Arena. With attacking star Landon Donovan still on sabbatical, the rest of the Galaxy's forward corps is quite young.

Although Hoffman made only seven appearances for the Union last year, having a full year of professional experience could give the 22-year-old an edge on 18-year-old Jack McBean, 19-year-old Jose Villareal and 21-year-old Gyasi Zardes.

In addition, Zardes suffered a foot injury this month. If not for that, he might have been a candidate to start at forward alongside Robbie Keane, and the Galaxy might not have been in the trade market at this point.

Meanwhile, the Union also signed deals with SuperDraft selection Don Anding, supplemental pick Leo Fernandes and returning goalkeeper Chris Konopka, all of whom trained with the club this preseason. Anding was drafted as a forward out of Northeastern University. Fernandes is a 21-year-old midfielder from Stony Brook. Konopka, 27, of Toms River, N.J., spent last year with the Union.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|