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February 15, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Alan Hinton dismayed at being ousted as part of Sounders broadcast team

This is a re-post of our story for Saturday’s paper:

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The worst part of Alan Hinton’s trip to Arizona for Sounders FC preseason was when people praised him for his broadcast work with the team.

“It was embarrassing; I couldn’t tell them I’m not on anymore,” said Hinton, who revealed Friday he has been removed from Seattle’s television and radio coverage this upcoming season.

Hinton, who coached the Sounders of the old North American Soccer League from 1980 to 1982, first delivered the news over Twitter, which came as a shock to many fans, particularly as the franchise is set to honor its 40 years of history.

Hinton was an analyst during pregame and halftime coverage.

In a statement issued to The Seattle Times, vice president of communications and broadcasting Dave Pearson said: “We think the world of Alan Hinton and appreciate the five years he gave us in the broadcast booth. Alan has made wonderful contributions to the Sounders for decades and has helped grow this sport in the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Alan as an ambassador of the club for as long as he wishes.”

Hinton, in a phone interview, said being taken off the broadcast team has left him disappointed and confused: “I think it’s totally undeserved. … The way they handled it was really shocking.

“I felt I was contributing. I felt liked. I always heard I did a great job. I feel that the people that run the broadcast have been disrespectful to me. I’m 71 years of age now, and I think they messed with me.”

The offer to be the Sounders’ first ambassador in a formal role was initially intriguing, Hinton said, but that was before learning it wouldn’t be in addition to broadcast work.

“I’ve basically been an ambassador for 35 years in this town, shaking hands with everybody, and I’ll continue to be in my own way,” he said. “I’ll still support the team.”

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