Reporters got a chance to catch up with Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer after Friday’s practice. He talked about the summer transfer window, clarified things about Fredy Montero’s move to Sporting Lisbon, explained a new roster rule and more.
Here is a full transcript:
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(How are things going during this transfer window?) “We are actively pursuing a couple of different angles, but as you guys know by now, it’ll be done when it’s really done — signed, sealed and delivered.”
(How does Sammy Ochoa’s release fit into that? Was his contract due to be up anyway?) “Not necessarily. Sammy fit in in that we needed a roster spot and any additional cap space that we could cobble together.”
(So it did clear up cap space?) “Yes.”
(Have you seen the HBO report on Chivas USA?) “I haven’t seen it. I recorded it, so I’ll watch it today.”
(Are you comfortable with Chivas’ hiring policies and what they’re doing to do there?) “I’m not sure I have enough information nor do I particularly care to comment on how Chivas runs their own business. We have enough issues running our own business without worry about how other teams do their business. And especially having not seen (the show). I know what the report is about, but I haven’t seen it and just don’t have information to comment.”
(The Sporting Lisbon president announced Fredy Montero would be around for five years at his introductory press conference. The move was announced as a loan with an option to buy here. Is there any clarity you can provide to that situation?) “It was technically a loan, but the missing piece of information that you guys don’t have is how much was paid up front for the loan, how much is on the back end to finalize the transfer. From a practical standpoint, we’re thinking of it as a transfer, but from the technical standpoint, it was structured as a loan. There are other issues. Teams can protect themselves to some degree. If there are payments over time, teams can protect themselves to some degree by structuring things differently for instance, like a loan, so that if there are payments problems, you’re not left with nothing and going to FIFA to try to collect money and things like that. So that’s always part of the actual technical mechanics, as well, is how do you get paid the right amount of money? How do you make sure you get paid? How do protect yourself in case you don’t get paid? What are the terms of those payments and timing?”
(Does this have any affect on the team’s ability to get allocation money?) “No. It’s a nonissue. Loan revenue is treated the exact same way as transfer revenue. It’s just the pool of accumulated money. So for instance, if we were to take a random player who didn’t have any transfer fee or any cash over the salary cap that had paid out, if you loaned that player, let’s say you got a $1 million loan free and you got the allocation money for that, if you then sold the player later on, you don’t get to double dip. You can only get allocation money on a player once.”
(Is Omar Gonzalez a good example of that?) “Yeah, for instance. Yes. If you loan that player out, $1 million, get the allocation money, but then when you sell him, there is no addition allocation.”
(So you can only get $650,000 from one player no matter how many times you loan them out?) “Yes. Exactly.”
(Are you still expecting not to get allocation money? Does this close the book on that possibility?) “No, it doesn’t close the book. I still think it remains unlikely, but again it’s a nuance of the rules within MLS that really hasn’t been covered, quite frankly, in the past. And so I don’t think anyone is closing the book, but it still requires a little more conversation.”
(And it wouldn’t be money to use during this transfer window?) “Correct, yeah.”
(Are you confident something will get down this window and are you close on anything?) “I’m never confident that we’re going to get something done until it’s signed, sealed and delivered just because I’ve been doing this enough to know that if you’re too confident in this stuff it’ll fall apart on you. We’re working actively in a couple of different areas. I’m hopeful that we’ll get something done, but I think (“confident”) might be a little too aggressive an adjective.”
NOTE: Hanauer later explained how the Sounders could free up cap space by releasing Ochoa, even after a July 1 deadline guarantees contracts. Players that haven’t been in the league four years don’t have their full contracts guaranteed, and so each team is allowed one exception a year to cut someone in between July 1 and Aug. 1 and still clear them off the salary cap. The player has to agree to that 30-day extension, as well. It’s a little bit confusing, but to reiterate, teams can waive one player — and only one player — after a July 1 deadline that guarantees contracts to free up cap space as long as the move is made before Aug. 1.