David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sounders player moves bubbling under the surface

I talked via email today with Seattle Sounders FC General Manager Adrian Hanauer about player moves for now (USL-1 club) and later (MLS 2009).

Here's what Hanauer had to say.

Are Sounders FC in talks with Alajuelense over any players, such as Kenny Cunnigham or Mike Rodriguez, or others? Do you see Costa Rica as a talent source for SSFC?

We are very close to signing a player from Costa Rica. I can't be more specific, but will certainly do a press release, when anything is confirmed.
I like Costa Rican players and have good contacts there, but I don't favor Costa Rican players over any others.

Are there differences between how you approach international player signings for MLS and how you approached them for the USL-1 club in the past?

Yes. Budget considerations are obviously much different in MLS versus USL, which opens up certain opportunities that didn't exist with the USL franchise. Contracts are structured considerably differently between the two leagues as well.

Do you have a 'short list' for Sounders FC's "Designated Player?" Do you expect to have a DP in 2009?

We have a short list that is growing regularly, and a long list that is growing regularly. We also have lists of players that fit into more of an average salary range within MLS.
I can't comment on whether we will have a DP for 2009 for sure, but if we find the right player to help us win games... it is certainly likely.

Please address the SSFC goalkeeper search. Fans have been vocal in their belief that designated player money should not be spent on that position. Many also favor Chris Eylander as a signing over Hahnemann or Keller. The top MLS goalkeepers make around 450k. Is SSFC willing to pay that for a proven talent? What is your take on the use of a DP slot in that position? Would Hahnemann or Keller require the use of a DP slot?

I can't comment on specific players, negotiations, or contracts.

The USL-1 Sounders are thread-bare with injuries and and a small roster. We know you've stated in the past that players won't be added unless they have MLS potential. So, can you tell us what the likelihood is that the Sounders roster will be bolstered this summer with more MLS-type talent? If so, when?

Yes, we are certainly hurting right now. We have considered getting a player or two on loan for a short period of time. The upcoming Minnesota game is not making Brian or I happy at the moment, and we certainly would prefer to have one or two additional quality players on the roster at this time. We also have agreed that we will not add players, just for the sake of adding players to the roster. If we sign a player at this point in the season... that player is guaranteed their salary through the end of the season, which means that a loan player is a bit more attractive. Again... there are plenty of bodies around town, who we could fill a roster spot with, but we do not believe that those players are good for the team long term.

Brian and I have always focused on having the squad peeking at the right time of the year and building quality as we push into the summer.

We do believe that we are very close to adding another player to the roster, and we will add another 1-3 beyond that, if we find the appropriate players.

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