RENTON, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC completed its coaching staff with the addition of Ezra Hendrickson as an assistant to head coach Sigi Schmid, it was announced today.
Hendrickson, 37, played for Schmid the past three seasons in Columbus, and was a member of the Crew’s 2008 MLS Cup championship team. It marked the third championship season of his career. He announced his retirement Jan. 8 after 14 years, including 12 in MLS.
“In the latter years of his career, Ezra was like a coach on the field for me,” said Schmid. “It’s that ability and his wealth of recent playing experience which he brings to our staff.”
Hendrickson appeared in 266 regular season matches with 225 starts. Playing on defense, he scored 23 goals and added 30 assists. He also played in 32 postseason games with five goals and three assists.
Schmid was Hendrickson’s coach during eight of his MLS seasons. They were together for the L.A. Galaxy’s MLS Cup season of 2002.
“I’m very excited. Seattle is very good organization, and I am joining the staff of arguably the best coach in the league,” said Hendrickson, who earned his U.S. Soccer ‘B’ Coaching License in December. “After taking the coaching course, I realized coaching was something I would like to do and I feel privileged to have this opportunity immediately after my playing career.”
A native of the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, Hendrickson began his career in 1997 with the New York MetroStars, before joining the Galaxy later that season. He totaled six seasons in Los Angeles, where he also won the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup and the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He was also named Galaxy’s Most Valuable Player for the 2001 season.
Hendrickson went to Dallas in 2003 and began the next season with the A-League’s Charleston Battery before joining D.C. United for its run to the 2004 MLS Cup. After starting all 31 appearances in 2005 for the expansion Chivas USA, Hendrickson was acquired by Columbus in early 2006.
An All-American and business administration major at Drake University, Hendrickson first played professionally with New Orleans of the USISL Select League (1995-96). After earning his first international cap in 1995, he served 12 years as captain of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines national team.
Hendrickson becomes the fourth coach for Sounders FC. Earlier, Schmid named Brian Schmetzer as his top assistant and Tom Dutra the goalkeeper coach. David Tenney is the fitness coach.