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Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

October 2, 2010 at 11:15 AM

A stop and chat with Sounders GM/owner Adrian Hanauer

(How will having to share Qwest with UW football in 2012 affect Sounders FC?) “I don’t know yet. I think that’s the safest answer. We knew that this was potentially coming down the line and it’ll obviously create some challenges, but I’m assuming we’ll work through it. It’s how many games? Six games? And there are one or two that probably don’t even conflict (since they’re after our regular season), so it’s really more like four games. We’ll figure it out. I don’t imagine it’ll be a massive issue for us.”

(On increasing capacity for the Open Cup) “It’s very exciting. As you guys know, American sports are generally fairly clean, concise, simple leagues — it’s regular season and playoffs. It all makes perfect sense, and soccer unfortunately doesn’t fall into that category. It’s complicated and there are all these extra tournaments and extra games. So for us, we’re in the beginning stages of an education process: for people to understand what the Open Cup is and why winning it is important, and what Champions League is and why winning that is important, how we qualify, etc. So these games from where we start from scratch and there are no ticket holders, a start from Ticket No. 1 sales process, to be able to push 30,000 — maybe over 30,000 — for any one of these games is in my opinion a feat. Especially when you look at these tournaments historically and how they’ve sold. For that perspective we’re very happy with the progress and the process. More importantly we’re more excited to play for a championship in front of what will be a 30,000+ crowd. And hopefully be able to lift a trophy and thank our fans with a championship.”

(On the “leaked” pictures of next year’s uniforms and the process of switching every two years) “There’s a design process we go through and, without divulging anything, there will be a new kit. There’s basically a two-year life cycle on the jerseys. I think I should probably stop there.”

(But sometime between the end of this season and next season there will be new uniforms?) “Yes.”

(What’s the process of guys like Boss and Nyassi to go off to nat’l team duty? Are you contacted first? Or the players?) “The federation will send a letter informing us that a player has been called. There are sort of two situations. One is a FIFA window, in which there’s no real discussion to be had. If there is a FIFA window we’re required to allow our player to go. We can have dialogue with that federation and sometimes we’re able to change a date by a day or two to help us get through a game. Again the difference between MLS and other leagues is almost invariably other leagues do not play during FIFA windows, so there’s not an issue — the team doesn’t have a game, the player goes, no problem. But with our league we don’t shut down for those FIFA windows, which causes some of the conflicts that you see. And then there are also dates that are not FIFA windows and between the club and the player… we never want to get in the way of players, but a player might say I don’t want to go all the way to China for a game in which I might sit on the bench and we have a really important game at home.”

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