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July 29, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Sounders FC GM Adrian Hanauer talks about the signing

(What attracted you to Alvaro?) “We’ve been tracking Alvaro for a while. Versatility. Quality. Character. A lot of the same attributes we’ve been interested in all along. But Alvaro’s a player that has very good pace, good in the air, against versatility, can play anywhere across the midfield. We just felt like another quality player was necessary to continue to build on what we’ve got and certainly to make a run for the playoffs.”

(What’s the timeline to getting his clearance and getting him on the field?) “Soon. Part of that I think will be dictated by Sigi and when he wants to use him first. I haven’t checked in with Sigi yet today, I don’t know when we’ll try to get him on the roster and ready for playing. But sooner rather than later.”

(Does Ljungberg’s status affect getting him on the roster or are those two situations independent from each other?) “Totally independent. We will have to make some roster moves to accommodate Alvaro, but we don’t have to do that until he goes on the roster active to play. We have some different, creative ways we can get that sorted.”

(Are DPs rules and cap rules set in stone or fluid?) “No, it’s set in stone. Every once in a while the team will stump the league and bring something into play that actually hasn’t happened. We are a young league where some of the rules are slightly dynamic, but as far as this particular transaction goes, it’s pretty cut and dry.”

(You pay the league to get a third DP, correct?) “Correct.”

(Now if hypothetically if Ljungberg is gone in a couple weeks do you get that back? How does that work?) “It will be based on when we have three DPs. If we have three DPs on the roster and eligible to play, we pay. And it’s a one-time fee that in perpetuity, so I don’t think we would get it back, but we wouldn’t have to pay it again if we bump back up to three DPs.”

(Talent-wise, how do you think you stack up in MLS now?) “Good. I’ve said all along, when we’re healthy, when we’re on our game, when our mentality is right, we’re as good as any. It’s a very even league so that doesn’t mean I think that we’re miles better than anybody, but I do think we can win a championship when we’re firing on all cylinders.”

(On bringing in a up-and-coming DP instead of a veteran DP, what’s it mean for the league and the team?) “From the league perspective, I can’t speak for the league. For our club, we’ve put a lot of thought into that and strategically we like the idea. It has to be the right fit. But bringing in younger players, whether that means for many, many years, or whether a player’s value increases and then we sell the player back out of the league, by doing so we get allocation money and/or additional cash to help fund other parts of our soccer operation. It is a bit of a departure, but something that we’ve thought a lot about and we feel very good about.”

(Was making Alvaro a DP a matter of economics and fitting him into the roster or as a measure of his talent?) “The DP status is again a combination of salary and transfer fee, so once you kick in to a certain range the player just becomes a DP. We didn’t have very much flexibility in that. The player hits at 167K on the cap as a midseason designated-player, so it was unlikely… Again, if the player was on 300K in salary coming in at midseason, the player hits at 300K midseason, but by being a designated player he hits at 167K. So again from a cap management perspective it was something that sort of had to happen.”

(On making roster space being an issue of the 24-man lineup or does the international slot come into play?) “It’s mostly the first of those because as Kennedy is on the IR we have an international slot available. So it is trying to get him on the 24 as opposed to international.”

(On the importance of bringing in a World Cup player) “Not so important. Obviously our fans are pretty sophisticated and have supported us and want to see a winner. I think it’s not coincidental that a lot of good players play in the World Cup. You would hope that the best from each nation end up at the World Cup, so it seems like a place to try and mine talent. But specifically having a player that was playing at the World Cup doesn’t… We’re not going to go sign a player because they played in the World Cup, but we signed Alvaro because we think he can help us significantly to continue to improve our team.”


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