Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson took a few minutes for the media today after the Sounders lost Jalil Anibaba in the expansion draft and passed in the MLS waiver draft.
Here's some of what he had to say.
On losing Anibaba: It’s hard to lose Jalil. It’s hard in any of these to lose a player. We were expecting to lose two players, so in that respect it feels like it was a lucky day. Jalil was great for the club and it will be hard to lose him because he was great with the guys -- a teammate that they were close with. We had a lot of quality guys up there, so we feel like we could have lost more than Jalil, so in that respect we feel fortunate.
On protecting Zach Scott: We lost a defender. Zach had a fantastic year for us. We understand as a player going into the offseason, Zach is in his 30s, he wanted to think some things through. But based on the way he performed last year and his desire to continue, we felt for the balance of the team and Zach’s history with the club and everything around Zach Scott, we felt we needed to pull him back. We had a feeling he might have been taken. If you look at some of the picks, with George John and Jason Hernandez, that could have been Zach. We feel like Zach’s going to recover. He’s a tough kid and he’s a guy who heals up pretty good, and he’ll be diligent in his rehab. I think we’re hoping he can start next year where he finished off this year.
On looking ahead: Now getting through this expansion draft we have a chance to really look at our roster and now we know which players are staying, we can focus on the reentry draft – stage one and two – we can continue our scouting and now focus on the positions we would like to bring in. I think it’s going to be a busy next few weeks, and we also have our combine in Las Vegas which focuses on the SuperDraft. Now it’s about refining our team and looking at our biggest needs, and were we need to spend the money to improve our team.