Last year Chris Henderson had to find 24 players players to craft a winning expansion side. This year, he had to find less players and I started off asking if that helped him focus.
Chris Henderson: Last year was very unique, we needed every position. But this year we could focus our time and our energy. Now you have guys that have 40 or 50 games together and that's much easier to build upon.
DC: When you are looking for talent to add are you looking for team needs or the best player rather than a need?
Henderson: If its the Draft and college talent you are looking for the best player, rather than position. But right now we are also looking for 2011 and 2012. We are looking to the future. We want to make sure that when we present a player in front of Sigi next year that we already have looked at him for the next two years.
DC: You want to share where you are looking for players?
Henderson: Both Europe and South America.
DC: With MLS' particular rules do you really have to focus on the Frees?
Henderson: We look at a combination. The Free part is really a matter of timing. But we look at DPs, assistant DPs, but we also look at 18, 19, 20 year old players that can come right in. Let's say a team like Boca, River have a young player that they need to get games, but won't play on their team they may see MLS as an opportunity for a loan. Its big range of what type of player, as well as the timing of it. We are looking for a player the Summer Window, as well as the year after.
DC: What about how that worked with Patrick Lane?
Henderson: I've known him from my past for a long time. One of my roommates from college was Brad Friedel and he trained at Blackburn with Friedel there. Friedel has a connection with Brugge where he [Lane] was all last year. He's a guy who being able to learn under Keller could learn a lot, but we also have guys like Eylander and Boss, so we are in a good situation. He's a good young player who should fill out and grow.
DC: Systematically do you and Adrian present 35 guys and its Sigi's final call on the 24 or is it a collaboration?
Henderson: Its a collaboration. We do a lot of the front work with the players so the Coach can know what the players do well. Coach is great at looking at players, but its a collaboration. Once you get to know - Sigi doesn't have time to go and look at a player. Its a big thing that with he, Adrian and myself there is trust. We all trust each other and our soccer opinion. I think that's good for us.
We can be sure in the end that its a guy that Sigi can coach and how he fits the team, so he has a big say, but its definately a collaboration.
Thoughts on how the 3 men work together and the efforts they are putting in finding talent?
PS Lunch today was a PB&J with Ginger Ale on the side. 30 Minutes for that and transcription, the Army would be proud.