MLS Combine: UCLA's Hoffman the hero in opening match
LAUDERHILL, Fla. – Chandler Hoffman’s goal in the 80th minute earned adiPower a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Prime in the first game of the 2012 MLS Combine.
Hoffman (UCLA) snuck in behind the Prime’s back line onto a slip pass from Lucky Mkosana (Dartmouth) and beat goalkeeper Jhojan Obando (Providence College) to earn the victory after adiPower trailed 2-1 in the second half.
Prime’s Brendan King (Notre Dame) opened the scoring in the seventh minute on a nice individual effort, creating space in the box before chipping a shot over adiPower goalkeeper Brian Rowe (UCLA).
AdiPower tied it five minutes later, as forward Casey Townsend’s (Maryland) hustle paid off. The forward forced a turnover by pressuring Prime center back Tommy Meyer (Indiana). The ball fell to Hoffman, who immediately sent a ball back towards Townsend, who outran the defense and finished past Obando.
Townsend almost turned provider in the 32nd minute, as he found Kelyn Rowe (UCLA) wide open at the top of the penalty area, only for Obando to make a smart save of the effort.
Despite adiPower controlling the run of play, Prime took the lead early in the second half. International forward Aldo Paniagua (Paraguay) powered home a shot into the upper corner of the net in the 49th minute off a nice feed from Babayele Sodade (Alabama-Birmingham), who beat centerback Matt Hedges (North Carolina) and found Paniagua with a cut back in front of goal.
The pressure on Prime’s back line continued as adiPower battled in search of an equalizer. But until the final 10 minutes of the game, Obando was equal to everything adiPower threw at him.
AdiPower nearly equalized in the 69th minute as Luis Silva (UCSB) played a ball in for Mkosana. Mkosana beat Obando, but his left-footed shot curled just wide of the far post.
Two minutes later, adiPower equalized, as Yuri Goentzvaig (Brazil) finished off a run from the right side in the 72nd minute to tie the game at 2-2.
Right before Hoffman buried the winner, he missed an opportunity on a breakaway. Taking advantage of a lucky bounce he got in behind the defense but couldn’t beat Obando, who palmed his shot just wide. The second time, Hoffman buried the chance a few minutes later.
HIGHLIGHTS: adiPower 3, Prime 2