Hoppenot Impresses in First Outing with with Philly Reserves
By Dave Zeitlin, MLSsoccer.com
April 9, 2012
WALLINGFORD, Pa. - With his back to the goal and the ball looping toward him, Antoine Hoppenot attempted one of soccer's most seductive plays: the bicycle kick.
"I thought I had it," the Philadelphia Union rookie told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. "It felt perfect."
He didn't have it. The ball glanced harmlessly off his foot.
Luckily for the Union, it was one of the rare things Hoppenot tried that didn't work in Philadelphia's 4-2 win over the New England Revolution in Monday's Reserve League opener at Chester Park.
Hoppenot, a first-year striker out of Princeton, gave Philly fans a glimpse of his potential by creating the first goal, scoring the second and using his speed to get behind the Revs defense throughout the game.
"He has game-changing pace - that helps," Union reserve team coach Brendan Burke said. "And he's tenacious. He does so much work off the ball, which allows him to either win the ball in positive space or allow his teammates to win it in positive space. And once you're one-on-one with him, you don't have a chance of keeping up."