MLS, former Oak Mountain star Hoffman to schedule camp

Former Oak Mountain High School standout, UCLA Bruin and current MLS forward Chandler Hoffman will be hosting a soccer skills camp Dec. 20-12. (FILE)

Former Oak Mountain High School standout, UCLA Bruin and current MLS forward Chandler Hoffman will be hosting a soccer skills camp Dec. 20-12. (FILE)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

Former Oak Mountain Eagle and current Los Angeles Galaxy standout Chandler Hoffman will be hosting a soccer skills camp in a partnership with the Birmingham United Soccer Association Dec. 20-21.

The Chandler Hoffman Pro Camp, which is open to boys and girls ages 8-18, will allow campers to train in a setting similar to what is found at the Major Leagues Soccer Level.

Hoffman, a 2009 graduate of OMHS, said he wanted give back to the community that helped him achieve his dreams, as well as provide players coming up through the ranks the opportunity to experience working in a dynamic setting.

“I knew it was special,” Hoffman said of being the first player from Shelby County drafted by an MLS team. “For me, the main thing is letting kids know it’s possible (to make it to the professional level).”

Hoffman said that one of the goals of the camp was to let young players know that they too can reach their dreams.

“(We want to) instill the belief in those kids that it is possible,” he said. “(With a) focus on enjoying the game. With youth sports, I feel the fun sometimes gets sucked out of it.”

Hoffman made a name for himself as a striker for the Eagles, attending UCLA on a scholarship before being drafted by the Philadelphia Union with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 MLS Draft.

A trade early in the 2013 season landed him back in Los Angeles with the Galaxy, where he scored his first goal in international competition against in the CONCACAF Championship League knockout stage.

Hoffman said the camp will mainly focus on teaching players striking techniques.

“The main thing for me is goal scoring opportunites and moving off the ball,” he said. The first day is going to be drills and technique, and the second day will kind of be in game application, he said.

Hoffman also said he hoped to teach the players a love for the game.

“I think the most important thing is every day you get an opportunity to play, enjoy it,” he said.

The camp is limited to the first 50 boys and girls that register, and will take place at the Rathmell Sports Complex in Vestavia Hills. The boys camps will be held from 1-3 p.m., and the girls camp from 4-6 p.m.

To register for the camp, visit https://www.youthleaguesusa.com/gnslite/camp/000338/Welcome.html.