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August 3, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Talking about Friendly C with Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer

(Is there any update with the third friendly?) “I think we’re very close to getting it locked in. The friendlies are sometimes the most difficult part of this business, believe it or not. But I think we’ll be able to make an announcement in the very near future. Like a week, or two weeks.”

(Can this be a game that doesn’t involve the Sounders due to your heavy schedule? Is that even a possibility?) “We could, but quite frankly that probably makes it twice… actually it probably makes it four times as complicated. To make sure that two teams can make it in and all that. It’s likely to be a game against our team. We feel that for sure the schedule is crowded, but sometimes in those games we’re only playing our starters 45 minutes. And it’s competitive, so it’s not a bad way to keep those juices flowing. I don’t think they’re damaging to what we’re trying to accomplish.”

(I’ve heard the face value on Friendly C is greater than the others. Does that affect the expectations?) “Certainly there probably are some high expectations. We think if we get it nailed down, we’ll be bringing another quality opponent that our fans will be happy to see. I would argue if you’re going A, B, C, and let’s assume A is the biggest game, and B isn’t quite as big and C was the lowest. I would argue that our B and C (Celtic and Boca Juniors) have been pretty close to an A. Maybe our A game will be somewhere between an A and a B. It’s not going to be Manchester United or Real Madrid. But it will be a big club.”

(Where do you fall on the opinion that if season-ticket holders are paying for extra games that they want those to be for USOC or CCL games and not friendlies?) “I don’t think that’s a popular opinion, quite frankly, because 42,000 and 46,000 people came out to see those two friendlies — and, yes, the season-ticket holders had those games — and 18,000 came out to the Champions League game. Actually there was a very even distribution of people (at the first CCL game) that were current season-ticket holders, who got a really good deal on the game, and new customers, who were hopefully trying it for maybe the first time or are single-game buyers. So from the number of season-ticket holders who spent not very much money to come to that Champions League game, I’m not sure that the argument holds that it’s popular opinion. I understand that there is a vocal, potential minority who would prefer to get the competitions over the friendlies. That said, we certainly will consider it. It’s something we are talking about internally. Is there a better way to do it strategically on the friendlies? Are the friendlies something we want to do? How many friendlies? How do we want to deal with Champions League, Open Cup? We are discussing the alternatives for next year.”


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