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.”
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.