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The 2010 MLS SuperDraft will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The 16 first-round will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The entire draft can be followed on www.MLSnet.com, and we'll be here for highlights, all the Sounders picks, and discussion.
Seattle has the No. 11 selection, and three picks overall.
On the eve of the draft, I spoke with Sounders technical director Chris Henderson.
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What's your overview of this draft class?CH: I think it’s a decent class. I think last year ended up being a very strong class. You had a player, for example, like Pontius who was taken a little bit later by D.C. and he had a very good year and was up for rookie of the year. Time will tell with how these players do and how they progress next season, but I think if you look at the group and looking at the combine it was pretty good. It’s hard to tell how they’re going to do, but from what we saw there are 10-15 solid guys in there.
What are the Sounders' needs?CH: When you look at our team I think we have a pretty solid core. (We could use) some depth at wide midfield, we’d have interest in. You’d always like to get a young striker. But also we need depth at our outside back positions as well. We’re pretty happy with our core of players, but to get a player you hope could make an impact next year would be exciting for us. With the amount of games that we’ll have between the league, the Open Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions League, there’s going to be plenty of opportunities.
What do you expect to find at No. 11?CH: It’s hard to say because you have your predictions who you think will go the 10 before us. And in every draft there’s some surprises. So it could be one of the teams in front of us picks somebody that we really didn’t expect and that leaves a guy open that we felt would go earlier. It’s hard to predict. We have plenty of scenarios that we’ve gone through that we’d be happy with either one at 11. There could also be some trades that change the draft in front of us.
Might the Sounders make a trade themselves? CH: There’s been some people talking. Whether we entertain scenarios to move higher in the draft, that could be a possibility too. There’s plenty of things that would happen. It could be that something happens tonight, or it could be that something happens during the draft when you see who’s on the board at certain numbers. When you have the 11th pick, you’re always looking up top in front of you for who’s available and how you think it’s going to play out when people start making their picks.
Will there be more personnel movement after the draft?CH: There could be some moves as we start getting closer to preseason. You could go out from this draft and people will say this team did well and this team didn’t do well. But you really don’t know until you get into next season how these players progress. Some player could get into the perfect system and he’s a fourth-round pick and he becomes a star in the league. Time will tell with these players. For sure, there are some at the top that you think will make an impact right away.