Los Angeles Soccer: Artur Jozkowicz
They're the big names, but hardly the only ones, among local players aiming for an opportunity with a Major League Soccer team. There are nearly two dozen players who grew up or went to school in Greater Los Angeles hoping to hear their names called in Kansas City.
Some of them, let's be honest, don't have a shot, not with just two rounds of picks -- 38 in all. Next week's supplemental draft will provide possibilities, and players will be looking to participate in team combines and in trials during preseason training.
Some might look abroad -- there are leagues everywhere on the planet -- and there are two professional minor leagues (NASL, USL Pro) and several pro clubs in the Premier Development League and its rival NPSL.
Here's a quick rundown of 22 players who might find a job in MLS, if the right situation develops:
Amanda Hardeman's goal in the 88th minute couldn't save UC Irvine. It just delayed the pain.
The Anteaters twice rallied from deficits Friday night but fell short in the tiebreaker and were eliminated by visiting San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Division I women's tournament.
The Toreros (12-7-1) outfired UCI, 5-3, on penalties to advance to next weekend's second-round clash against the winner of Saturday night's game between No. 2 UCLA and New Mexico.
Irvine (14-4-3) was 90 seconds from defeat when Hardeman (Laguna Niguel/Dana Hills HS and Santiago Canyon College) struck from Dana Sanderlin's cross to force a 20-minute sudden-death overtime.
Mariah Butera scored in the fourth minute to provide a lead for San Diego, the West Coast Conference co-champion, and Taylor Housley restored the advantage late in the first half after the 23nd-minute header by Zoya Farzaneh (Irvine/Irvine HS), from Cami Privett's pass, pulled the Anteaters even.
The Toreros were in charge of the tiebreaker from the start, taking a 2-0 lead after goalkeeper Courtney Parsons stopped Judy Christopher (Ontario/Upland HS) on Irvine's first attempt. The next three Anteaters -- Sanderlin (Upland/Upland HS), CoCo Goodson and Zuri Walker -- converted their attempts, but San Diego made all five of its shots. Stephanie Ochs clinched the victory.
In other women's action:
- Azusa Pacific (13-2-2) won Golden State Athletic Conference tournament title, outfiring host Point Loma Nazarene, 4-2, on penalties following a scoreless tie in the final. APU, No. 5 in the NAIA rankings, converted on four of five attempts -- Natalie Sun's shot was decisive -- and goalkeeper Alexa Douglas made two stops to thwart the No. 4 Sea Lions (18-1-2).
Chandler Hoffman scored twice in the final 21 minutes and ninth-ranked UCLA toppled No. 24 San Diego State, 2-0, Sunday at Drake Stadium to claim its eighth straight victory against Pacific 12 Conference men's soccer competition.
Hoffman scored in the 70th and 83rd minutes, his 10th and team-best 11th goals of the season, as the Bruins (10-3-1) improved to 5-0 in Pac-12 play with a six-point lead on San Diego State (8-3-2) and Washington (8-3-2), which are 3-2 in conference.
Hoffman, who ended a four-game goal drought, tallied from Kelyn Rowe's long ball to break the scoreless draw, then added the second from a feed by Victor Muņoz, firing home after his first attempt was blocked. Hoffman has 17 goals in his last 20 games for UCLA.
In other men's action:
- Sean Sears and Artur Jozkowicz (Santa Monica/Santa Monica HS) netted second-half goals, and Loyola Marymount (5-9-0) won its third in a row, a 2-1 decision over visiting San Francisco, the West Coast Conference leader heading into the weekend.
- UC Santa Barbara transfer Taylor Rivas (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) tallied in the 87th minute and Cal State L.A. (8-1-5), No. 13 in the NCAA Division II rankings, escaped with a 1-1 draw in a California Collegiate Athletic Association clash at Cal State San Bernardino (5-8-1). UC Irvine transfer Brett Faggioni scored for the Coyotes in the 12th minute.
Farran (San Pedro/San Pedro HS) fired home with 97 seconds remaining in regulation after Katie Russ (Canyon Country/Canyon HS) headed along a throw-in from Chloe McDaniel (Palmdale/Quartz Hill HS).
Long Beach State (10-4-1) had won six in a row and led the Big West with a 3-0 mark, but the loss drops the 49ers one point behind the Matadors (5-7-2) and UC Irvine, which are 3-1-1. Long Beach visits Irvine on Sunday.
Northridge has won three of its last four games.
In other women's action:
- Elizabeth Eddy (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor HS) tallied in the fifth minute, and USC ended an eight-game losing streak and claimed its first Pacific 12 Conference victory in a 1-0 encounter at Washington. The Women of Troy (4-11-0), who are 1-5 in the Pac-12, benefited from solid defense backed up by freshman goalkeeper Carley Pennington (Rancho Cucamonga/St. Lucy's Priory HS), who got the shutout in her college debut.
- No. 6 UCLA (10-1-3) dictated play and ran up a 29-8 advantage in shots but couldn't find the net, and the scoreless draw at Washington State extended the Bruins' winless streak to three games. The Cougars (10-4-2) moved ahead of UCLA in the Pac-12 standings at 4-1-1. The Bruins are 3-1-2.
Chandler Hoffman's first collegiate hat trick couldn't have come at a more opportune time.
The junior forward from Alabama netted three goals in 20 minutes of the second half Friday night, carrying UCLA to a 3-2 triumph over No. 6 UC Santa Barbara in a nonconference showdown between big-time soccer rivals that drew 2,965 to the Bruins' Drake Stadium.
UCLA (3-2-1), which is ranked by Soccer America but is not in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America top 25, overcame a first-half deficit as Chandler scored in the 52nd, 68th and 71st minutes, the first two off assists by All-American Kelyn Rowe.
Hoffman, who has seven goals in the Bruins' first six games (after scoring 13 in 13 Premier Development League appearances for Orange County Blue Star this summer), tied a school record by tallying in his fifth successive game.
“It's been really good to find the back of the net,” Hoffman said in a video posted on UCLA's athletics web site. “My parents were here tonight, so it's always fun to score when they're here. It's always fun to beat UCSB.”
James Kiffe gave the Gauchos (4-1-1) a 35th-minute lead, but UCLA -- with Rowe and Ryan Hollingshead making the difference in midfield -- took command early in the second half. Sam Garza converted a 73rd-minute penalty to cut the deficit to a goal, but Santa Barbara couldn't create chances for an equalizer.