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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

January 6, 2015 at 4:43 PM

Bonus cut: Lagerwey announced as new Sounders GM and president of soccer

There’s only so much space in the newspaper for all the anecdotes surrounding the Sounders’ announcement of Garth Lagerwey as the club’s new general manager and president of soccer on Tuesday. I spoke on the phone with Lagerwey on Monday night and hopped on a conference call with him and owner Adrian Hanauer — who is shifting focus to the club’s business operations — Tuesday evening.

Here is a bonus cut featuring all the best stuff that isn’t going to make it into the paper:

Lagerwey on Seattle’s appeal: “I think the Sounders is the best-run club in the league. It has the most talent in the management, on the coaching staff.”

– On how his RSL experience translates: “It’s about how to we maximize those resources and make them more efficient?”

– On relationship with former RSL coach Jason Kreis: “The general manager and coach is the single most important relationship within any team. … In no case did we ever feel we could do anything but work together. … One of the things we got right from the beginning was that we all worked out together. I and Jason were attached at the hip.”

– On developing the Sounders academy:  “We want to make sure DeAndre Yedlin isn’t a flash in the pan. … The idea is to fill the funnel with talent and push a guy or two up into the first team every year.”

– On how the Sounders’ business model is different: “I’m really a custodian of the trust, of the concept of a club that is much more of an on-the-field concept.”

– On the opportunity: “I really look at this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. … It’s in some ways too exciting to pass up. I suppose I could’ve gone some place down on their luck or something like that, but I’d already done that.”

Hanauer has heard the rumblings about a potential replacement for CenturyLink Field and threw some cold water on them: “We’re very happy at CenturyLink. We’ve got a bunch of years left on our lease. We’re in constant communication with our landlord and our partner (Paul Allen). … They’re certainly free to dream, and every sports franchise on the planet wants their own building and own stadium. … Sometimes that’s realistic, sometimes not.”

– On defining his new role: “Really, it’s about continuing to build our fan base, continuing to build our revenues overall … and just genuinely trying to be a little bit more strategic and look out five, ten, 20 years.”

| More in MLS, Sounders FC

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