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July 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

GM Adrian Hanauer on Mario Martinez, the transfer window, wanding issues and more

hanauer mugSounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer spoke with reporters after Thursday’s practice. The interview covered a number of subject, including an update on Mario Martinez, thoughts going into next week’s opening of the transfer window, and more on the issues Wednesday with the new security measures.

Here is a full transcript:

*     *     *

(Coach Sigi Schmid has said the Mario Martinez issue is nearly dead. Is there any update you can give?) “Mario is off our roster at this point, based on the fact that his loan expired. We’re still in communication, but I would agree with Sigi that things are looking less and less like he’ll come back. But until he has a new team, until things are set in stone, I guess you never say never in these types of negotiations.”

(Would you retain his MLS rights if he ever decided he wanted to come back to the league?) “Yes.”

(And so his number is completely off your salary cap now?) “Yes.”

(Where did the breakdown happen?) “I’d say it’s multifaceted. Numbers is always part of it. Desire of the player. What we interpret in terms of the player and how we think they’re going to fit in long term. There was the transfer-fee issue, a negotiation on fee, which is part of the salary cap, as well. So that’s certainly a factor. So if you have salary plus transfer fee, and there is some cap number that corresponds for the rest of this year and future years, and then it becomes a discussion — assuming the player is comfortable with the numbers from their side — about how do we feel about that effective number on our cap and the production of the player we’re going to get.”

(Do you get some flexibility now going into the transfer window) “Yeah. We’ve gained some level of flexibility. It’s not a massive number, but it’s not a minimum-salary number either. So that does give us a little bit to work with in the current window.”

(Does it change your goals for the transfer window?) “Certainly losing a wide player makes us maybe think slightly differently about priorities, but we do feel like we have pretty good depth at all positions. Obviously we’d like Steve (Zakuani) to get healthy and be able to contribute, and that’s part of our depth that’s been lacking. So it may skew our thinking a little bit, but ultimately it’s about adding quality players who we think can step in at every position and contribute.”

(How is Zakuani?) “I don’t have an update. I think he’s progressing well and I think he’s kind of on the timeline we originally planned for, but I wouldn’t want to (speak out of turn).”

(Schmid mentioned the release of Ashani Fairclough was to open up an international roster slot, and if Martinez doesn’t come back, you would have three open slots available. If you’re releasing a player to open a spot, does that mean you intend to fill them all?) “It’s possible. Again, I’ve said it before, we’re not in a position to make a lot of moves without making some moves on the current roster. For instance, to the questioning on Mario, you can either do one higher salary or two lower salary if the two lower-salary guys are two foreign guys. Conceivably that burns two foreign spots. So I wouldn’t say it was a one-to-one correlation cutting Ashani and using that particular foreign spot, but it was to create some flexibility in case we get there. We just didn’t want to get caught in a place where we weren’t bringing in a player because we didn’t have a foreign spot available.”

(Any more information on the issues at Wednesday’s game with the long lines and the new security measures?) “The only intelligent piece of information I have right this moment is we clearly didn’t have enough people dealing with the wanding. I don’t know why we didn’t have enough people, how we came to the conclusion that X-number of people were the right number of people, whether there were extenuating circumstances. My hunch is it was a late-arriving crowd because it was a week night and there was traffic, but that’s no excuse. We need to be prepared for whoever shows up, whenever. So, that’s the one thing I’m fairly certain of, but I’d hate to comment on anything else until we do a full postmortem.”

(Is it reassuring you have some time to get it right with the next home game on July 20 and not, say, Saturday?) “Yeah, for sure. Again, the Seahawks wand, other organizations wand, it’s not rocket science, we just need to get it right.”

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