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October 30, 2012 at 9:01 AM

GM Adrian Hanauer: “I think (the guys) want it as much as they’ve ever wanted it.”

hanauer mug.jpgAfter Sunday’s regular-season finale, I caught up with Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer in the visitors’ locker room for an early playoff preview.

* * *

(The popular question coming into the playoffs is, ‘Why are things going to be different this time?’ Why are you confident they will be?) “I don’t know it’s going to be different. That’s why you play the games, and these are the guys who have to make it different. I’ve done what I’m going to do at this point. I think they want it as much as they’ve ever wanted it, games like tonight maybe hurt more than they’ve ever hurt, but you have to play the games. You saw tonight: We could’ve buried five goals. It could’ve been 5-1, 6-0, 6-6, but if we create as many good chances as we created tonight, we’re going to bury some of those. If we close up shop and are disciplined defensively, we’ll be OK. I’d love to say I know it’s going to be different because I had a dream about it or something, but it’s hard work, and there are a lot of good teams in this league. These are the guys who go to battle every day and try to make it different.”

(Coach Sigi Schmid said a month ago that playoff success was going to “carry the weight of the season” after some early trophies had come and gone. How much of your evaluation of this season was going to be on what happened in the playoffs?) “Look, I’ve always said I want this team to be in a position to win a championship every year. We are in position to win a championship, and just like every other year, we’ll take a look at the results at the end of the year and then we’ll try to put together a team that can win a championship the following year. Obviously our first goal was to make the playoffs, and we accomplished that. We wanted that second seed, but we didn’t get it. We know RSL very well and we know what it’s going to take to beat them. As far as the team goes, we’ll figure it out at the end of the year.”

(Does not having won a midseason trophy this year for the first time play into motivations around this time and the team wanting it more?) “I guess it feels like almost every other team in the league. I don’t like the feeling, but I think the reality is that it happens more than lifting trophies. I don’t like it, I know none of the guys like it, but it’s life in sports — you can’t win everything.”

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