Sounders GM Hanauer easily wins retention vote

By JASON MITCHELL

SEATTLE, Wash. – In one of the less surprising voting results of fall 2012, Seattle Sounders fans have given general manager Adrian Hanauer another four years at the team’s helm.

The result was widely expected given that the team reached the playoffs each of its first four years in MLS, winning three U.S. Open Cup trophies and twice advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals along the way.

Nonetheless, few likely predicted a nearly unanimous result.

Hanauer, a part owner of the club, earned a whopping 96.7 percent of the 13,775 votes cast in the quadrennial retention vote. Minority owner Drew Carey—who brought the idea to the Sounders after visiting Spain—announced the results at the club’s annual end-of-year business meeting.

“Thank you so much for your support,” Hanauer said to a crowd of several hundred fans after Carey announced the results. “We will win an MLS Cup in the very near future.”

Votes were cast by season-ticket holders and members of the team’s official members’ association over a two-month period ending Dec. 7. A minimum of 10,000 votes are required for a valid election. Local accounting firm Moss Adams LLP tabulated the result.

Perhaps more noteworthy than the voting result was how strongly team owners emphasized their willingness to pursue bigger name—and more expensive—designated players moving forward.

“We are absolutely committed to winning the MLS Cup,” said majority owner Joe Roth in his opening comments, “and if we don’t win it’s not ’cause we haven’t spent enough money for players. We may have picked the wrong players, but believe me, if the equivalent of Robbie Keane is out there we’ll go get him and we’ll pay him.”

While pointing to the New York Red Bulls as proof that spending alone doesn’t guarantee success, Hanauer nonetheless concurred.

“We are prepared to now spend more and more money to have the quality necessary to win an MLS Cup,” said Hanauer. “So the economic question is one we’re very comfortable with, and we’re willing to spend more money if that helps us win an MLS Cup.”

Pressed for more information, Hanauer added, “Everyone [on the team] is well aware that there is the potential that we could make big changes this offseason. Again, yes, we do have targets, and some very good ones, but these deals are always complicated.”

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What do you think of the decision to retain Hanauer? Would you have given him another four years? Thoughts on whether the Sounders should shake up the roster to pursue more expensive designated players?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Sounders GM Hanauer easily wins retention vote

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Bot being snarky, but I wonder that the 3.3% were thinking? They just being contrary? I also wonder what a referendum on Sgig would have looked like? He probably would have gotten a smaller majority because, frankly, he kinds blew the Galaxy playoffs….

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Perhaps thinking that a Sigi team should be at least a MLS Cup finalist? They have decent backing and the largest average attendance in the league, by a substantial margin. And yet their claim to fame is the USOCs, which snarky sorts discount as home-won.

      FWIW, Nkufo was a total bust, they’ve been obsessed with picking up retirement age GKs and Ljungberg, Tiffert is just OK……I don’t think the GM record is spotless. With their resources I’m surprised this is not the Galaxy’s equal.

      • Noah says:

        Keller was old, but Gspurning is only 31 and was a good pickup.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          You’re leaving out Marcus H.

          • Jeff Ramsdale says:

            He may be the best, cheapest, most experienced backup goalkeeper in the league, and he’s delighted to be with the Sounders. Of all the decisions made by the FO how could you possibly question that decision?

          • asimismo says:

            He’s arguably the best, most experienced, cheapest backup goalkeeper in the league and he’s delighted to be playing for the Sounders. How you possibly criticize the FO for signing him?

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        How was Nkufo a bust? He had, what, five goals in 11 games? It was ashame he didn’t stay. It was a good pick up. Lunberg was a bust, but who thought Montero was going to be (near) great? And how many people were willing to gamble on Johnson?

        Most moves don’t work out. Slamming the Sounders front office requires cherry picking the bad ones.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Announced pre-season, plays half a year, goes back home. Sorry, bust.

          You rattled off a list of busts I didn’t even mention and then label criticism “cherry picking.” That’s quite a few bad cherries from a Sigi team with massive attendance that’s somehow not making it over the hump to elite status. And surely it’s enough where we can discuss the relative quality of the GM.

        • Charles says:

          He was beyond a bust. Hat Trick one game and nothing else.
          Not a coincidence that no one wanted him after Seattle cut him 1 hour before the first game.

      • Knuckles says:

        We have a half season out of Tiffert, who was not signed as a goal scorer, to judge. I, as a Sounders fan, am thrilled with his play and think he’ll be integral to our success over the next season.

        As to the Hahnemann pickup, he’s cheap as hell and provides us with both great backup behind Gspurning (who is nowhere near “retirement age”), and great mentoring for Ford.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Everyone’s acting like the front office is perfect but if I was handed the roster I’d keep the starting GK, Alonso, Montero, and Rosales, and then see what of the rest I could upgrade.

          • asimismo says:

            I think we can all agree you wouldn’t get 97% of the retention vote after those moves.

          • Travis says:

            Imperative I don’t know if you got bullied by someone from Seattle but just stop it. They have missed on some players (Nkufo, Ljungberg). But they have hit on more than they’ve missed (Montero, Johnson, Rosales). Yes Keller was old but he was arguably the top GK in MLS all 3 years he played, hard to argue with that. Also you can’t judge Tiffert yet, most players struggle coming to MLS mid-season, it means they haven’t had an offseason in over a year.

          • baropbop says:

            I totally agree. That’s the thing that amazes me about Sounders fans….how are you possibly satisfied with the roster? Especially when they clearly have tons of cash they can spend. Personally I would keep Alonso, Johnson, and Gspurning. I wouldn’t keep Montero.
            I know this will fuel some flames, but when the Sounders were playing the Galaxy in the playoffs just going position by position, I would take the Galaxy player at every single position aside from Alonso over 2 Galaxy midfielders. Long story short, I see it as a travesty that the Sounders aren’t using there DP slots on the very best they can possibly sign.

            • Skeeter says:

              “Long story short, I see it as a travesty that the Sounders aren’t using there DP slots on the very best they can possibly sign.”

              It’s Seattle not LA.., bro. Do you really believe that your idea of top talent will move on a lark to Seattle? You’re acutely unaware of what Seattle fans want in their team. Sure there are a few tweaks I could see coming but a total overhaul ? Sounds like something RBNY does on occasion.. look where that gets em

  2. William the Terror says:

    Probably won due to all the Super PAC money he poured into the election.

    • Rory says:

      My liberal friends tell me Karl Rove stole this election as Hanauer has a son that used to be on the board of a company that owned stock in a company that had a partnership equity deal with a company that used to make voting machines. Clearly Hanauer stole this election.

  3. connr says:

    Lampard to Sounders.

  4. ed - houston says:

    nice gimick, let’s see chivas usa/toronto/ or NE try a stunt like this.

  5. Rick says:

    Silly Seattle.

  6. Charles says:

    When asked if MLS will ever go away from single entity, Hanauer replied, no chance.
    Someone please ask him about Pro/Rel so we can put that to rest too.

  7. rob says:

    I laugh when I see posts by fans of other teams trying to hide their jealousy with childish insults. Your envy is our greatest strength. Hahaha! Vamos Seattle!

  8. Steve O says:

    Now if he could only make these midfield and defensive rumors come true.