Chris Henderson

'These are games that you want to be part of': Chris Henderson looks forward to Leg Two against Chivas

Estadio Akron

In the late 1990s, Chris Henderson would travel to Guadalajara for preseason, first with the Colorado Rapids and then again as a member of the Kansas City Wizards.

Now as the Vice President of Soccer & Sporting Director for the Sounders, Henderson returns to Guadalajara – this time with his club playing a meaningful match against Chivas, one of the most respected clubs in North America.

“It’s a great city, it’s a great place to be,” Henderson said. “The stadium is beautiful down there. The atmosphere for the games is something a player wants to be a part of.”

For the second leg of Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, the Sounders head to Estadio Akron with a 1-0 lead after securing a positive home result in the first leg. It’s the slightest of margins, though, considering Chivas will bring a raucous crowd.

“I think it’s going to be a tough challenge,” Henderson said. “Since it’s in Mexico, they are going to come out fired up. We’ve been in these situations before. You go down there and it’s a different atmosphere. Everything is at stake. We need to be concentrated and play smart soccer.”

The Sounders could become the third MLS club to reach the regional tournament’s semifinals after the New York Red Bulls ousted Club Tijuana and Toronto FC knocked out Tigres on Tuesday evening. With a result against Chivas, it would be an unprecedented achievement to have three MLS clubs eliminate three Liga MX sides at this stage of the tournament.

“We need to see if a team can actually win this from MLS, and that will be a big turning point,” Henderson said. “To be in a position to go down there, to get a result and to move on – and to maybe win a final, no MLS team has done it.”

With his playing days long behind him, Henderson is excited for the group of players who have the opportunity to play in one of the biggest matches in club history.

“As a player, these are games that you want to be part of.”



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