Sounders Insider

Henderson on SuperDraft: "There is going to be someone there at 15 who we see can contribute"

SCHMIDOn his impression of the SuperDraft Combine) “I think overall it’s deeper than last year, but with those top players, it’s probably the same, which has been a pretty consistent theme throughout the years. The overall plus for the combine is that it’s a little bit deeper this year.”

On if there is a particular position that is deeper this year) “It’s deeper all across the board. There are some outside backs that are deep and some center backs. There’s probably a few more, what you would call, attacking midfielders because of the presence of an Enzo Martinez and people like that.”

On the strategy of evaluating the combine) “We’ve scouted during the season, we’ve seen some of these guys in their college environment, some have trained with us, we’ve seen some when they’ve been in with the national team, etc. Sometimes the big mistake people make is, if they have a bad combine they drop off their list and if they have a good combine all of a sudden they jump on the list irrespective of what they’ve done in the previous three-four years in college. From that standpoint, we want to take all that into account.”

[caption id="attachment_24745" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Henderson"] [/caption]HENDERSONOn how they view the 15th pick) “I think, as Sigi also said, it’s a pretty deep draft. We’ve been pretty pleased with this combine. There’s going to be someone there at 15 who we see can contribute. A lot of it is up in the air until we see the player at camp and how he fits with the team—every player develops at different rates. I think we have the environment, we have the coaching staff, and the daily environment for players to grow and develop. I think we see some possibilities there with someone that can help us, hopefully get minutes, and fight for a spot every day.”

On using the combine to gauge their academy system) “I think it’s a good benchmark to see. We were lucky enough to be down here at the same time as the U18 National Team, the U20 National Team, we got a chance to see Sean Okoli and DeAndre Yedlin train and play a scrimmage with the National Team. We can see how they compare with those players, and then at the same we were able to go over to the combine and watch the college players. Our goal is to keep developing players through our system. I think for some of our academy players—going to college and maturing and growing up a little bit and living on their own—I think all those things are important to being a pro. Sometimes it’s difficult to go into a locker room with a bunch of men, when your teammates are just coming out of the academy system. Some kids need time to mature and grow.”