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September 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

GM Hanauer on the Hahnemann deal, the roster freeze, the allocation process and more

hanauer mug.jpgSounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer spoke to reporters after Monday’s practice to address a number of topics, including signing Marcus Hahnemann and the final days before the roster freeze with George Ogararu and Eidur Gudjohnsen in camp.

Here is the transcript of that interview:

* * *

(Can you take us through the last few days of the transfer window?) “Sure. It’s no secret: Obviously we had George (Ogarau) here, we had Eidur (Gudjohnsen) here. Marcus came in at the end there. You always wish you can do more — we want to be the strongest team possible — but in the end it’s a salary-cap league. There was really only one move we could make at the end. We’re happy to have gotten Marcus — adds, again, more strength, more depth to an already strong roster. We’ll certainly keep in contact with both George and Eidur and you never know what happens in the future.”

(Was it an either-or situation in signing Hahnemann or one of the other guys?) “We were trying to manipulate things a little bit, where it didn’t necessarily have to be an either-or. In the end, it did. It was sort of a situation where we were able to make one signing. George (has a) big family at home, wife just giving birth or gave birth to their fourth child — things were a little bit complicated there given that we weren’t going to have a lot of money (to offer). There’s obviously not much time left in the season and ultimately those were sort of the two issues that we ran into with both George and Eidur is we had very little money and very little time and very little flexibility. Marcus, local guy, the deal came together at the last minute to try and trade up in the allocation ranking. So there were a lot of moving parts the whole time. But again, we’re thrilled to have Marcus now.”

(Would you have made the move to sign Hahnemann if he had grown up in Iowa?) “Probably not, for the simple reason that he wouldn’t have settled and moved his family to Seattle. If he had grown up in Iowa and settled his family in Seattle, then probably. But the fact that was he back here, he wasn’t going to go anywhere else. I think Marcus was starting to set himself up for a bit of a life of leisure, and we gave him a call and told him that he’d have to hold off on the fishing and hunting at least a little longer.”

(How much was sentiment how much was soccer?) “I would say it was all soccer. We wouldn’t have done it for sentiment. We think he’s still got good goalkeeping in him. It’s always an added bonus when there’s a little bit of sentiment there, as well, but we’re in the business of winning championships, and as much as I love Marcus, he’s a great guy and I’m glad to have him, if he couldn’t do the business, we wouldn’t have signed him.”

(On getting a deal done with Toronto FC to make this possible…) “For sure, we don’t want to be held ransom and we’re never going to pay a massive ransom if we don’t think it’s good for our team. But it’s the reality of the system and we have to deal with it. Toronto was willing to work with us well, so we do have to thank them for (that). They could’ve gotten in the way of this, but it was a good conversation, which was, ‘Hey look, Marcus is here in Seattle, not going anywhere else, the guy grew up here, it’s his hometown club — seems appropriate for him to end his career here,’ and we were willing to make a trade in which obviously they were fine with the overall compensation, and it worked for us, as well.”

(Did you have to wait to make sure no other player coming through the allocation order?) “That was what happened as Marcus and I had conversations over the months, that that allocation ranking is certainly much more valuable a month earlier than it was Sept. 14 (the day before the roster freeze). We’ll see how Toronto finishes the year, but I think probably they saw that they’re going to be near the top of the allocation rankings when it resets — they may be back right at the top. I think possibly that played into their thinking, as well.”

(Was it fair to use allocation order with Hahnemann?) “It is what it is. It is the rule. As a member of the competition committee, we’ve certainly had conversations about what the best way to deal with players like Marcus is. For now, it’s the best system we’ve got. But I’m a believer that we want former U.S. national team players or current national-team players back in the league and if our rules are getting in the way of that, then we should at least be thinking about alternatives. But the system has worked relatively well until now and it worked again with Marcus. Maybe it took a little bit longer than we’d have all liked, but it ended up working.”

(When did you call Marcus about postponing retirement and signing?) “It was right around the 12th or 13th. It was right at the end there.”


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