MLS Combine: Sandoval aspires to be next Steven Lenhart

LAUDERHILL, Fla. — San Jose's Steven Lenhart may be one of the most divisive figures in MLS, but there's at least one aspiring professional who is modeling his game after the bruising forward.

And if you take a good look at University of New Mexico forward Devon Sandoval, he even has the curly haired ponytail to match.

"Definitely," he told about being the next Lenhart. "Especially this year, I saw Steven Lenhart and I immediately saw the comparisons and I definitely think I have that capability and that work ethic that it takes."

In case you weren't familiar with Lenhart's or Sandoval's game, it's fairly simple: Bang bodies, battle for every ball and try to be an overall pest for an opponent.

"That's my style," Sandoval said. "I tend to body up people, hold up the ball and bring people into the game.


"I've dealt with it my whole life," continued Sandoval. "Usually the opponents hate me and then they meet me and say you're a gentle giant pretty much. It comes with the game. I hope I get that opportunity and wear it proudly."

The battling spirit of the 21-year-old target man couldn't help his AdiPure team get out of a 3-0 hole when he was introduced in the second half of an MLS Player Combine match on Friday afternoon. The final result was a 4-0 loss.

"It was frustrating being on the bench in the first half and seeing that [3-0 deficit] happen, but I thought our response was good in the second half and we were in the game and I thought we could've won the second half. But we just have to get back and get ready in the second game."

That second game comes on Sunday afternoon when Sandoval and AdiPure take on Prime (3:30 pm ET).


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