June 24, 2005
Hendrickson revives

Veteran Vincentian defender Ezra Hendrickson started last year’s Major Soccer League (MLS) season as the forgotten hero although having more than three cup titles under his belt. This year, he’s been an iron man for franchise Chivas USA.

After being sidelined from the MLS defending cup champions D.C United, Hendrickson joined franchise club Chivas as its third pick in the expansion draft for this year’s league season.{{more}}

The Vincentian-born turned MLS star defender has played every minute in all 13 of his new club matches this season.

Scoring the team’s last two goals — the equalizer in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against San Jose and on a header that gave Chivas a 2-1 halftime lead in an eventual 5-2 loss at Chicago. Hendrickson has showed his all round ability.

“I guess I’ve become the iron man of Chivas,” Hendrickson said. “I’m 33 but I haven’t played much in the past two years. I feel like I have more in me even though I’ve been a forgotten man in this league the last two years. I am glad to show I still have some good days in me,” Hendrickson was quoted in the Daily Breeze.

Only last year the lanky 6-foot-3 Vincentian defender played a major role in this country’s failed bid to World Cup 2006. Hendrickson skippered a young Vincentian team into the second round of the CONCACAF before bowing out after losing to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1.

Chivas team captain Ramon Ramirez faced Hendrickson in international matches between Mexico and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which Hendrickson captains. But he has learned to appreciate him even more as a team mate.

“I’m among the players who recognize that age has nothing to do with quality nor heart, and Ezra has both of them,” Ramirez said. “He’s an exemplary leader for young players on the team and throughout the league as well.”

Coach Hans Westerhof said he needs Hendrickson to emerge as a stronger leader on the field.

“He’s professional and serious, which is always good, but he has to demand more from the people around him,” Westerhof said. “You need two or three players in the game who can keep their teammates awake and can change attitudes. Ezra has to be that positive guy.”

Hendrickson, from the central leeward town of Layou,joined the MLS in 1997 playing for the New York New Jersey Metro Stars. He moved to the Los Angeles Galaxy where he had his best returns. Hendrickson played for five years with Galaxy, scoring 17 goals and had 25 assist. While there, Galaxy won the 2000 CONCACAF champions cup, the 2001 Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup.

Before moving to DC United, Hendickson, nicknamed “E.Z” had a short stint with the Dallas Burns.