UPDATE: While nothing has yet been announced, Sounder at Heart has learned that Chris Henderson will likely be the Chief Soccer Officer at Inter Miami. Although he’ll still answer to a CEO, Henderson will effectively be in charge of soccer decisions.
Inter Miami spent plenty of money, but had little to show for it in their expansion season. Among the casualties were head coach Diego Alonso and GM Paul McDonough. Now, they might be looking to the Seattle Sounders in attempt to turn things around.
Sporting Director Chris Henderson is reportedly close to joining Inter Miami in a similar role. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff was the first to report the link, but Soccer by Ives’ Franco Panizo had a more detailed report. Henderson had previously interviewed with Miami in 2018, only to be passed over for McDonough. On Thursday, sources told Sounder at Heart’s Niko Moreno that “it’s almost a done deal.”
SBI’s report suggested the move is almost complete and that Henderson would be second in command — the same as in Seattle — with a still-to-be-determined boss coming in from abroad.
Henderson, an Everett native, was one of the Sounders’ original MLS architects. He joined the team in 2008, carrying the title of technical director. After Adrian Hanauer stepped down as the general manager following the 2014 season and was replaced by Garth Lagerwey, Henderson’s title was changed to Vice President of Soccer Operations and Sporting Director. Titles aside, he has been the Sounders’ top talent evaluator for most of his time here.
Losing Henderson — likely the longest tenured front office member in all of MLS — would be arguably the most significant non-player departure in Sounders history, with the possible exception of Sigi Schmid. One potential replacement could be Chris’ brother, Sean, who currently serves as the Sounders Director of Scouting. Knowing how Garth Lagerwey tends to work, though, it’s entirely possible the role would be filled more through shifting responsibilities than hiring a direct replacement, at least in the short term.