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January 16, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Sounders FC’s Chris Henderson: ‘I don’t think … I’ve seen a first round like that.’

Sounders FC sporting director Chris Henderson spoke briefly with reporters after the MLS SuperDraft. Here is a quick transcript:

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(What are your impressions from what looked to be a wild draft day?) “It was a crazy draft. I don’t think, in the years that I’ve been here, I’ve seen a first round like that. So many moves and action. There was a lot of things behind the scenes that didn’t happen also. I thought it was a good draft. We feel really good about it and it addressed some of the needs that we had. It was an interesting draft with all the movement.”

(What was your approach going into the day and what can you say about your two picks?) “I think with the moves this week that we made, with the two center backs, we wanted to in the offseason address getting a little bit younger, a little bit more athletic. With the players we brought in, we feel good that they’re going to be able to compete. Obviously, Lowe is Generation adidas, which is a plus. He comes from a soccer background. I played against his father for Jamaica and when he was with Kansas City. I think he has big promise. He reads the game well, understands it, decent feet and his marking is good. Jimmy is a player, in a lot of ways a similar mold to Zach Scott in that he plays with a lot of heart and energy. He’s very aggressive, tremendous in the air, vertical leap. We feel good about that. If we combine the two picks with our homegrowns, who are both attacking-type players, we feel we have a good balance of young players.”

(What areas are you still looking to address before the season starts?) “I think we are looking for some more help in the midfield. I think we’ve always tried to be a team that plays an attacking, possession-based style of play, and we’ve been good with the ball and good through the midfield in the history of our MLS years. I think we want to make sure we can get back to that and make sure we continue to keep the ball well and connect with (Osvaldo) Alonso and (Brad) Evans and (Clint) Dempsey, some of the guys through the middle of midfield, and have some guys who can play with them.”

(Did you view defense as a need or were these also the best players available at the time?) “With losing the two defenders this week, I think we wanted to address bringing in some young defensive players. Ockford might be able to compete at midfield, as well, with his aggression and being able to get to balls. But we feel like we have a pretty good group of guys who can compete for those spots. It’s a pretty good balance. In the offseason, Sigi had mentioned about getting younger. We added the two today, and then we added the two homegrowns. I think it’s a pretty good balance with the two homegrowns being more attacking and these two coming in more defensive.”

(On what the team has done in the offseason and still wanting to address the midfield…) “I think we’ve checked a lot of boxes that we wanted to do, and the big box is midfield. That is something we’ve been working on pretty hard and steadily all the way through, and something we’re going to continue to work on and definitely address here, hopefully, in a short period. I think we’ve always been a good possession-based team that’s good keeping the ball through midfield. I think if we can add some significant pieces in there to play with Alonso, Evans, and Dempsey, that will really help us control games.”

| More in Sounders FC, Stop and chats, SuperDraft


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