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Combine: Townsend, Hoffman connection worth the wait

Chandler Hoffman

Photo Credit: 
MLSsoccer.com

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – If Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski had his way, Casey Townsend and Chandler Hoffman would have played together a long time ago.

Hoffman (above) and Townsend have two goals apiece and have worked well together thus far in the MLS Player Combine, most recently leading adiPower side to a 2-1 victory against adiZero on Sunday afternoon.

“He’s a great player and obviously [I gave] him the assist and he returned the favor today,” Hoffman said of Townsend. “He’s definitely a fun player to play with, works hard. Sasho, when he was recruiting me, always talked about me and Casey playing together one day. Who knew it would be today?”

While Townsend starred at Marlyand, Hoffman opted to attend UCLA. He thrived there and eventually earned a Generation adidas contract, but that doesn't mean there isn't a serious case of "what-if" going on these days at the combine. After all, if Cirovski had his way, the duo would have teamed up for the Terps long before their paths finally crossed in South Florida.

But instead, the pair is playing together for the first time this week, and continued to excel together on Sunday afternoon, as Townsend assisted on Hoffman’s goal. On the combine’s first day, Hoffman set up Townsend for a score of his own.

“It’s worked out really well,” Townsend said. “We get along really well off the field, which helps. He likes to do a lot of things that I don’t really necessarily do – he checks in a lot more than I do, so I can go behind. He’s left-footed; I’m right footed.”

Entering the final day, the two could be in the running for the MLS Combine’s Golden Boot, although they’ll have to overhaul adiPure’s Ethan Finlay, who came on and scored three goals in Sunday’s second game.

But regardless of any rivalry, the duo's goal is to win the final game of the combine.

“We might have a friendly battle, but the most important thing is winning, going 3-0. That’s what we’ll be looking to do,” Townsend said. “As long as we win it doesn’t really matter.”

HIGHLIGHTS: adiPower 2, adiZero 1