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March 26, 2008

HYNDMAN SOUGHT BY NEWCASTLE
Texans' youth player headed to U.K.
By Phil Stephens

 

Emerson Hyndman, shown playing up as a guest player in the Dallas Cup, has been identified as a possible future star for the EPL team.
Emerson Hyndman, shown playing up as a guest player in the Dallas Cup, has been identified as a possible future star for the EPL team.
Photo by Phil Stephens
The newest American sensation is about to head to Europe and the details will dumbfound a lot of U.S. sports fans. Come to think of it, there will be a lot of Brits raising their eyebrows when they read about Emerson Hyndman, a Dallas Texans’ player headed to Newcastle.



What does David Cooke, chief first team scout for the Magpies say about Hyndman?

“Emerson is excellent. He has potential to be a Premier League superstar,” Cook said.


Is this putting the cart before the horse? After all, young Hyndman is still shy of 12 years old. He will turn 12 in April. Soccer fans need to remember Wayne Rooney, English superstar who was at Everton at a similar age.

Still, Newcastle has done its homework and personally sent scouts to see Hyndman two different times. That includes Dennis Wise, the new Director of Football for Newcastle United. He played for Chelsea for 12 years, was captain and was capped 21 times for England. He just left the Manager’s job at Leeds United to take on Newcastle, a team and organization in a rebuilding mode, a team facing many changes.

It took Wise just 10 minutes to say, “I just love the guy. I love the way he plays.”

After the second time he saw him, Wise must have thought that the young player reminded him of himself.


That is what Kenny Cooper Sr.; the scout who notified Newcastle thought when he saw Wise looking at Hyndman.


“In my mind, when I saw Dennis look at Emerson, I could see Dennis looking at himself,” Cooper said. ”Wise was small of stature, a big heart and great technical ability.”




Cooper will be accompanying Hyndman on his trip April 2, along with Emerson’s parents, Tony and Becky and his grandfather, Schellas Hyndman, who is the men’s soccer coach at SMU.

Cooper will be finalizing his own deal with Newcastle, having been offered a position within the Newcastle organization. He will be based in Dallas, a hotbed of youth soccer.

The former NASL star goalie came to America to play with the Dallas Tornado. He is a former player for the Blackburn Rovers in the early sixties. Later in his career, he met and played with David Cooke. He went on to be became president, general manager and coach of the Baltimore Blast, a championship team in the Major Indoor Soccer League. He is father of current FC Dallas star Kenny Cooper, Jr.

The position talked about for Kenny, Sr. is to be the Director of Football and Chief Scout for North America for Newcastle. He already has a dozen players under scrutiny, but Emerson Hyndman will be his opening big “find.”

Although he admits that leading an 11-year-old to a life-changing decision is unusual, he said that Hyndman is a special talent, a real rarity for someone this age.

“It is not just a matter of his physical prowess as much as his mental presence on the field, his absolute passion for the game and his background, his upbringing,” Cooper said. “Anyone able to have seen him knows he is something special.”

Cooper also said his trip starting April 2 could be start of a magical mystery tour and a long journey for Hyndman.

“The world is his oyster right now and he will be given every opportunity to show and express his talent at Newcastle.”

What does Emerson Hyndman have to say about the way his life may change?

“Its so exciting, just to have this opportunity,” Hyndman said. “Ever since I have been practicing with my father when I was about five years old, I knew I wanted to play in college and professionally. Ever since I was about eight or nine years old, I knew I could beat any of the players with me or who played against my team.”

He did not say this as a braggart, but a calm fact of life, a truth. It didn’t take him long to realize he had a special gift and he made a decision to go all the way with it.

“I can’t wait to meet the players in England,” he said.

Cooper said nothing was a “done deal,” but that Emerson would be in Newcastle for about two weeks, seeing and living the set-up first hand, meeting his future academy teammates, etc. If all parties still wanted to proceed, then he would return to the U.S. with a new future ahead of him and many decisions to be made. Cooper knows first-hand there is no guarantees, just an, “opportunity in work clothes.”


Like young Hyndman, this is a story in progress, hopefully with a lot of chapters yet to be written.

   
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