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Sounders FC sporting director Chris Henderson went to Colorado earlier this month with hopes of a win against the Rapids, but the Everett native was also honored by his former team during the halftime re-launch of the Gallery of Honor at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“I had to take off my Sounders scarf,” he joked afterward.
Henderson, an MLS original, kicked off the league’s inaugural season with the Rapids in 1996 and played there until 1998, when he was traded to Kansas City. He eventually came back to Colorado in 2002-05 and is the team’s all-time leader in assists with 53.
In other career stats, he ranks second all-time behind Pablo Mastroeni in games played (178), games started (179), and minutes played (14,784). And he also ranks fifth all-time for Colorado in goals scored (31), and represented Colorado in the MLS All-Star Game in 1997 and 2002.
He was originally inducted in the Gallery in 2007, but the team decided to move the location of the display within the stadium, which corresponded with a new ceremony.
“It was great to go back to the stadium and have my name up here,” Henderson said. “It’s really special. I have great memories from being there, the two different times I was there when I was traded away and came back. We made the MLS Cup. We had a great run. I played for two different owners, a bunch of coaches and have friends for life from there.”
So is Colorado the club he associates most with his MLS career, having also spent time in Kansas City, Miami, Columbus and New York?
“Probably from years of service there, yeah, and just memories of playing,” Henderson said. “I think the (2001) Miami Fusion was the best team I ever played for — that was a fantastic team — but we had some good years. The year we lost to L.A. in the semis we had (Carlos) Valderrama and Robin Fraser and John Spencer and Mark Chung — we had an amazing team. We just met L.A. and couldn’t get over them.”
Henderson also did this video interview with ColoradoRapids.com.