Union Select UCLA Forward, Amateur Filmmaker Chandler Hoffman With First Round Pick

Union Select UCLA Forward, Amateur Filmmaker Chandler Hoffman With First Round Pick

Coming into the 2012 MLS Super Draft the Union did not have any real glaring needs to fill. With that in mind they were able to employ the take-the-best-player-available strategy. In the eyes of the Union brain trust that player was UCLA forward Chandler Hoffman.
The 6'0" Hoffman helped lead the Bruins to the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup. He ended the season tied for fourth nationally in goals (18) and points (42). For his UCLA career he scored 29 goals in 54 games.
In addition to his goal scoring ability he apparently brings some social media savvy. He's active on Twitter (@chandala) and YouTube. Yes, YouTube. In searching for video of him I came across a video he posted of himself scoring goals.
Video after the Jump...Based on the videos I can tell you two things. First, the kid loves his left foot. Second, he certainly knows how to celebrate a goal.

Hoffman, like a number of other recent Union draft picks, is a Generation Adidas player, which means that his salary will not count against the Union's cap. He'll join fellow UCLA Bruins Amobi Okugo and Kyle Nakazawa on the Union roster.
With their first pick of the second round, 32nd overall, the Union selected Creighton midfielder Greg Jordan. With their final pick, the 35th overall, the Union opted to add some dept to the back by selecting West Virginia's Raymon Gaddis.
Photo Credit: PhiladelphiaUnion.com

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."