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November 27, 2008 at 8:29 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Before I watch the Seahawks game, and then the Arizona-Philly game, and feast on food, I will share with you a little more from yesterday’s draft.

First off, thanks to Sounders FC for transcribing the conference call with Adrian Hanauer and technical director Chris Henderson so I can share detailed quotes with you all.

Henderson was asked specifically about individual players in the draft and gave several assessments.

Here’s Henderson’s take on expansion pick Jeff Parke:

“I had the opportunity to play with Jeff, and against him as well. He’s a great player. He’s got experience. He’s very athletic. I think with regard to missing some of the games early, if we can get through that period, he’s got a tremendous upside. He’s been in some very big games. I think he’s a guy that will really contribute. He’s played in a 4 in the back. He’s played in a 3. He is out of contract. It’s something we hope we can work out. We’re excited to have Jeff.”

(On selecting Jarrod Smith from Toronto FC) “We did a lot of research, and watched some video and the stats that we had, we liked what we had seen from Jarrod. He’s currently in the New Zealand National Team pool, so that’s something that if he makes the Confederations Cup next year, we’ll deal with that. I think he’s a player that’s hungry to prove himself. I think he’s a competitor. He’s a versatile player. He’s a strong target-type forward, but he can also play another position. We like that. We see a tremendous upside with Jarrod.”

On Real Salt Lake M Nathan Sturgis) “Nathan was a U.S. National Team player. He’s one of those players who is very good at changing the ball from one side to the other with good feet, to keep the ball moving. He’s a versatile player. He can play midfield. He can play in the back. I think barring those injuries he had last year, he would’ve been competing for an Olympic spot. He’s another player with tremendous upside. We think he’s a very good player. I was a player who at certain times in my career I had some muscle injuries, and after I got through that period, I never had a pulled muscle again. Sometimes it happens to players as they’re maturing and growing. We’re hoping to keep him fit, keep him healthy. We’re confident in our medical staff and trainers. He’s a guy that we’re very happy to pick up.”

(On choosing only three defenders and shoring up the defense) “I think it’s about our versatility. Jeff Parke, Nathan Sturgis can also play in the back, James Riley, Tyson Wahl. I think we’re in a good situation. There are also potential players out there that Adrian has touched on, USL players. I think we’re in a very good situation. There are also some international players. I think the balance of the team at the moment is very good.”

(On choosing Columbus Crew F Brad Evans over M Eddie Gaven) “When you compare Gaven and Evans, first, they’re both very good players. We’ll start with Evans. He’s an exciting central player. I think he was a very big part of Columbus’ championship run. He can score. He’s a competitor. He has a great desire to improve as a player. He’s not afraid to shoot from distance, and that was an important piece for us as well. I had a chance to play with Eddie in New York, and he was at Columbus briefly when I was there as well. Eddie is an up and coming player as well, and I think either player you’re making a good choice. I think the way our team is shaping up, Evans was a good selection. They’re both quality players.”

(On choosing LA Galaxy M Peter Vagenas) “We picked a champion. He’s a guy that’s been in the battles, as Adrian said ‘played in the trenches’, and when we look at Pete, if not the best, he’s among the best passers in the league, and probably in the history of the league in possession and keeping possession of the ball. He’s a great leader, a competitor. He’s been a winner at every level. To have Pete come up to Seattle, I think his veteran leadership is going to be very important for us. We have some leadership with Ljungberg and Keller, and to just add to that a veteran player to help the younger players along is going to be a huge asset.”

(On Chicago Fire M Stephen King) “He’s a consistent player. You can rely on him everyday. He’s a good pro. He’s good in the middle of midfield. He’s very composed. We’re happy to have him. He’ll be a reliable guy for us.”

I’m looking to take a little time away from the blog for the holiday, so happy reading and enjoy the holiday! -Jose


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