Seventy-two days after coming into existence, MLS Seattle has its first employee. Owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer details what he was seeking in a technical director and why Everett native and three-time MLS all-star Chris Henderson proved the perfect match.
Things have started very positively for our MLS in Seattle organization, and we want to keep the momentum going. This means staying ahead of the curve in terms of hiring the personnel who are going to help us create a world-class organization.
On the soccer side of the business, hiring a technical director is the first step on the path.
When we started detailing the qualifications that we were looking for in a technical director, there were several factors that were critical.
We wanted a winner and a hard worker. We wanted someone who had a great deal of knowledge about Major League Soccer, and who was not far removed from playing in the league. We wanted someone who could help design the type of playing environment that will attract and keep top players from around the world. We wanted someone who had knowledge of effective scouting and recruiting techniques and technologies. We wanted someone who could help develop our training facility, and who could help design our youth system. And we wanted someone with outstanding character, who will make the entire Puget Sound region proud.
We feel as though we have found all of this in Chris Henderson.
Chris and I have known each other for several years. Several times each year, we would have coffee or speak on the phone. I always admired his soccer knowledge and his character, so as we began the process of searching for a technical director, Chris quickly came to mind. We went through a process of formally and informally interviewing a number of candidates, but ultimately Chris was exactly what we were looking for in a technical director.
Our short list is actually quite long. Over the coming months, Chris and I will be focusing on numerous projects that will prepare us for putting the best team on the pitch in 2009. First and foremost, we will work with the business operations side of our organization, to make sure that our football objectives are in line with the business objectives, and that everyone is in the same boat, rowing the same direction.
At the same time we are working through philosophy, we will be checking projects off of our long list:
• Finalizing a training facility relationship
• Designing a youth system
• Building an international scouting network
• Systematizing our information gathering from college coaches
• Setting up MLS scouting technology
• Working on a process for interviewing coaches, trainers, equipment managers, and other support staff
• Putting together a player handbook
• Listing out players that we would want here in Seattle
And the list goes on. Some of this has already been started, and some will begin over the next few months. Stay tuned.