Hoffman, Velasquez earn spots on USL All-League First Team


SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017) - A pair of Real Monarchs players, FW Chandler Hoffman and MF Sebastian Velasquez, have been selected to the 2017 USL All-League First Team after team management and league-wide media voted for the top performers from the 2017 USL Regular Season.

This is the first selection to a USL All-League side for Velasquez, in a record-breaking Monarchs season where both played a pivotal role in leading the Utah-based club to the best season in team history, which included a Regular Season Championship Shield win and the league’s best record of 20-5-7 (67 points) during the regular season. Hoffman was selected to an All-League team once previously with LA Galaxy II when he was selected to the All-League First Team in 2014.

Monarchs Head Coach Mark Briggs believes the accolades for his players were well-deserved, and the leadership both Hoffman and Velasquez provided helped carry the Monarchs to such a historic season.

“Credit to Chandler and Sebastian for the honors they received for their performances this year,” Briggs said. “For Chandler the goals he scored obviously helped us a lot but his leadership around the team helped us have the season we did. For Sebastian his incredible talent gave us a spark in the midfield this year. To use the talent the way he did over the course of the season was definitely worth a USL First-Team nod. Congratulations to both of them.”

Enjoying a career year in his first season in Salt Lake City, Hoffman earned his place on the USL First Team after scoring a team-high 16 goals and tallying seven assists during the regular season. Hoffman finished tied for second place in the league’s “Golden Boot” race with 16 total goals during the regular season, one behind scoring leader Dane Kelly of Reno 1868 FC. Hoffman also added a goal in the Monarchs Western Conference Quarterfinal loss to Sacramento Republic FC, bringing his overall goal tally to 17 for the year.

With his 16 goals and seven assists during the regular season, Hoffman was the only player in the USL to earn top-10 rankings in both goals and assists at the end of the regular season.

“To be voted onto the USL’s First-Team side means a lot to me personally and I think it is a huge honor,” Hoffman said of his selection. “I think it’s a reflection of what we achieved as a group this season. My teammates, coaching staff and front office made this year truly special, and it shows the direction this organization and team is headed.”

Velasquez earned his spot on the USL First Team after earning 26 regular season appearances in 2017, including 25 starts. A dynamic playmaker with extensive MLS experience, Velasquez tallied nine goals and six assists in his first year with the Monarchs. Velasquez played a total of 2,148 minutes in central midfield for Briggs.

“Being voted to the All-USL team is a big accomplishment for me,” Velasquez said. “This year I set out to set a new standard at the club, along with my teammates, to put the Monarchs on the map in American soccer. To have Chandler [Hoffman] and I on the First Team says a lot about what our group accomplished this year.”

The full USL-First Team is as follows: Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo (San Antonio FC); defenders Paco Craig (Louisville City FC), Harrison Delbridge (FC Cincinnati), Sebastien Ibeagha (San Antonio FC), Forrest Lasso (Charleston Battery); midfielders Marcel Schäfer (Tampa Bay Rowdies), Sebastian Velasquez (Real Monarchs SLC), Chris Wehan (Reno 1868 FC); and forwards Chandler Hoffman (Real Monarchs SLC), Dane Kelly (Reno 1868 FC) and Enzo Martinez (Charlotte Independence).

The 2017 USL Cup Final featuring Louisville City FC and Swope Park Rangers will air live on ESPNU and Sirius XM FC on Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. ET.