UPDATE: From at least two accounts — and I wasn’t there but these are pretty reliable MLS observers — that final assistant coach Sounders FC is soon to announce and who is at the combine with the team (see below) is indeed Ezra Hendrickson, who just retired from playing and played for Sigi Schmid in Los Angeles and Columbus. I got the word on that last week and it looks like he’s the guy.
Tonight I got a hold of GM Adrian Hanauer. He said today’s matches at the combine were “generally competitive” and that some players “definitely helped themselves” in terms of increasing their draft stock.
Hanauer has been to several other combines and rated this one as “better talent from top to bottom.” He said there have been a few players who are head and shoulders above the rest that stood out before, but there’s more depth in 2009.
“The best player out there will be on our team this year,” Hanauer said.
I wonder if that means he is leaning toward making that No. 1 overall selection rather than trading it for allocation money (which Sounders FC can add to its salary cap so as to afford higher-priced international players, i.e., Roy Miller) or for another player or more picks.
Interesting tidbit of the day: Hanauer said he has his full crew of staff and coaches at the combine, and that includes the person the club is looking to hire as the final member of the coaching staff. Hanauer wouldn’t say who that person is, only that he is “kind of a free agent.”