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December 13, 2012 at 7:38 PM

End-of-year business meeting, live thread

2013 st scarf.jpgUpdate — I’ve added a photo of the winning scarf selected for 2013 season-ticket holders, courtesy of Daniel Roe, a speaker a last night’s meeting.

End of the meeting — I hope this chat proved useful. I’ll have more on the blog in the coming days.

8:33 p.m. — We’re nearly the end of the proceedings tonight. Questions that weren’t addressed here will be answered by the team online in the coming days/weeks.

8:32 p.m. — Hanauer notes how difficult it is to sell CCL tickets.

8:31 p.m. — Regarding future USMNT games here, Hanauer said they are in active conversation with U.S. Soccer to bring a game here. They don’t just want to have any game though, they want it to be meaningful (e.g. a World Cup qualifier). Indications were Seattle might be in the mix for one of those games.

8:25 p.m. — The issue of grass has come back. McLoughlin notes it would take 6-8 months to install, which isn’t feasible. There are other challenges, as well.

8:22 p.m. — Hanauer notes technical director Chris Henderson is scouting in Europe right now. Hanauer reiterates the team is willing to spend more if that’s what’s needed to win an MLS Cup (warns that New York spends a lot of money, but hasn’t achieved much).

8:18 p.m. — Some of my attention has to go toward my print story now, but Hanauer is still talking about the refs. Says the quality will improve over time.

8:09 p.m. — Hanauer notes in response to one question that he’s not the type of GM that rips a coach for decisions. Next up is refereeing. “I’m ready to go,” owner Joe Roth says with a smile.

Roth notes how difficult it is, at first. Notes the linesman needs to make more than the beer vendors, as he puts it. Implications are that there should be a review system, as well.

8:02 p.m. — Roth notes that the Sounders are ninth in the league in average ticket prices. Until they win MLS Cup. “Then we’re going to gouge you,” he joked.

8:01 p.m. — We’re into the Q&A portion. First question was about standing and sitting. The second is about ticket prices, which Roth passed along. It relates to original season-ticket holders getting a discount.

7:55 p.m. — Hanauer closes with a statement: “We will win an MLS Cup in the very near future.”

7:54 p.m. — A slide of key dates shows training camp opens Jan. 21. The team combine is this weekend. There’s a TBD date/opponent versus a Latin opponent — possibly two — for CCL preparation.

7:46 p.m. — Hanauer went over the youth development program and now talking about sports science. Lots of fancy graphs. Lots of detail and information. Next up is scouting strategies.

7:42 p.m. — Hanauer said the reserve team will look more like a lower-league team in the near future, as opposed to an off-shoot of the first team.

7:40 p.m. — I had to slow a bit to deal with the Hanauer news. He talked about how humbled he was at the results but that this doesn’t change his or the clubs desire to win. He’s going over his review of the season, much of what Roth said.

7:35 p.m. — It was just announced that Adrian Hanauer has been retained as the team’s general manager. Here’s a post on it.

7:30 p.m. — Drew Carey is back to talk about the GM vote again.

7:28 p.m. — Fan Daniel Roe is up to talk about a fan-designed scarf contest. Sounds like a fan-designed scarf will be ready for the 2014 season. For 2013, the team provided finalists that the fans voted on. The winner scarf was announced and I’ll try to find a picture of it.

7:25 p.m. — Kevin Zelko is up representing the Alliance Council. Has a Powerpoint of this past season for the perspective of the fan council. They passed some resolutions: that the fans should have input in jersey designs, that there should be championship banners at CenturyLink Field, that the crest should be the same and unaltered on different uniforms.

7:22 p.m. — McLoughlin notes the Xbox sponsorship ends after the 2013 season and they’re talking with a lot of companies. They showed a chart of local TV ratings, and the Sounders held an overwhelming margin.

7:20 p.m. — President Peter McLoughlin is up with more praise for attendance. He’s got charts and graphs and such.

7:18 p.m. — Roth notes that if the Sounders don’t win, it won’t be because they haven’t spent enough money. If there’s a Robbie Keane equivalent out there, they’ll go get him.

7:16 p.m. — Roth said the Sounders were the second best team in the league. Makes a point of saying the team can’t afford such devastating playoff losses, something coach Sigi Schmid and Adrian Hanauer have mentioned.

7:12 p.m. — Joe Roth is up. He called it an “up-and-down” year. A big point of pride for him was being 26th in the world in attendance (notes the 10th team in the world is around 50,000). Roth said it’s a goal to be in the top 10 worldwide, and above that is to win MLS Cup.

A couple highlights for Roth was Alonso’s Best XI selection and Michael Gspurning’s MLS best goals-against average. A lowlight was Mauro Rosales being injured for the playoffs again.

7:06 p.m. — Carey introduces a highlight video of the 2012 season. Osvaldo Alonso’s Best XI selection, Patrick Iann’s MLS Goal of the Year was highlighted, as were four-straight playoff berths, four-straight U.S. Open Cup finals appearances, another attendance record and Roger Levesque’s retirement.

7:05 p.m. — Drew Carey up first. He said they’re looking at getting a more intimate setting for next year’s meeting, one that isn’t as cold. He said he’s been happy with how the GM vote has been received. No word on results yet.

6:58 p.m. — We’re getting close to the start of the event tonight. I’ve seen Marcus Hahnemann, Zach Scott and a few other players here. Joe Roth, Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey and Peter McLoughlin have also been seen up on stage.

I’ll try to provide updates here as I can.


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