Hendrickson seeking out young Vincentian Football talent
January 6, 2012
Hendrickson seeking out young Vincentian Football talent

Former St. Vincent and the Grenadines Senior Football team captain Ezra Hendrickson is on a mission to seek out young Vincentian Football talent, but he is not impressed with the technical abilities of many of them.{{more}}

Hendrickson conducted two practice sessions with about 70 young footballers between the ages of 18 and 25 last Thursday and Friday at the Victoria Park, with a view to get first hand knowledge of their abilities.

The 38-year-old Hendrickson, who is the Assistant Coach with Major League Soccer outfit, the Seattle Sounders, told SEARCHLIGHT that his sojourn back to the land of his birth was mainly for fact finding purposes.

“I want to have a data base of the players of their abilities, so that I can go back to my club and say to them, this is what St. Vincent and the Grenadines has,” Hendrickson, who hails from the Central Leeward town of Layou, said.

“This is just a start. Maybe I can convince my entire coaching staff to come here in the future, to see what is here,” he added.

Hendrickson said that his mission was not for his Seattle Sounders organisation only, but with his contacts with other Football outfits, including colleges, he can share the information gathered with them.

“My club may be looking for something specific, while another may be looking for something else,” Hendrickson stated.

The sessions with the footballers, many of whom are on national teams, mainly the Under-20, Under-23 and the senior outfits, involved basic technical skill drills, scrimmages and short games.

Hendrickson, who holds a degree in Business Administration from Drake University, used the opportunity to speak to the players, intermittently on what the sport can do for them, if they work hard and stick with it.

Hendrickson did not hide his impressions on the down side of the players.

“I must say I am disappointed in the technical abilities of many of the players, and this is something for the local coaches here to work a lot on,” said Hendrickson, who represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the international level from 1995 to 2008.

Making a comparison with his contemporaries, to what he saw while here, Hendrickson was frank in response.

“I may be a bit biased, but to be frank and honest, we back then were much better,” Hendrickson stated.

Hendrickson began his professional Football career in 1997 with the New York Metro Stars, before joining the LA Galaxy in 1998, then spent six seasons in Los Angeles, where he also won the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup and the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Hendrickson was also named Galaxy’s Most Valuable Player for the 2001 season.

In 2003, Hendrickson moved to Dallas and spent the next season with the A-League’s Charleston Battery before joining D.C. United for its run to the 2004 MLS Cup.

In 2005 for the expansion Chivas USA, Hendrickson was acquired by Columbus in early 2006.

He retired after helping the Crew to its first MLS title during the 2008 season. (RT)