Sounders fans vote to retain Adrian Hanauer as team's GM
Ninety-six percent of season-ticket holders and Alliance members voted in favor of Hanauer.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Every expectation was that Adrian Hanauer would be retained as Sounders FC's general manager after a fan vote.
In the end, it wasn't even close.
Hanauer earned support from 96 percent of the 13,775 votes cast by season-ticket holders and Alliance members, part-owner Drew Carey announced at Thursday's end-of-the-year business meeting.
"This afternoon I got an invitation to go to the meeting, so I thought that was a good sign," Hanauer joked to a crowd of a couple thousand at the WaMu Theater. "Honestly, I'm humbled. I'm very touched that obviously a great portion of the fans were supportive and felt that we're doing a pretty decent job."
"The one thing that is absolutely, positively for sure is that it will not be taken for granted. ... Just because I — and I really say 'we' — got this overwhelming support, it doesn't change one iota of our passion, our drive, our commitment, our 24-hour-a-day-seven-day-a-week passion to bring trophies to this team."
The vote (13,271 to retain, 504 to remove) was authenticated by accounting firm Moss Adams and needed 10,000 votes to be valid. It is believed to be the first of its kind in American professional sports and was inspired by an FC Barcelona model that Carey discovered on a trip to Spain.
The Sounders covered an array of topics in the annual meeting, from bringing a U.S. national team game to Seattle (there are ongoing discussions with U.S. Soccer) to the state of MLS refereeing (something Hanauer said would improve over time).
Team owners, who took questions from the fans, also affirmed a pledge to winning MLS Cup no matter the price.
"We are absolutely committed to winning an MLS Cup, and if we don't win, it's not because we haven't spent enough money for players," majority owner Joe Roth said. "We may have picked the wrong players, but believe me, if the equivalent of (Los Angeles Galaxy star) Robbie Keane is out there, we'll go get him and pay for him."
to get new deals
Defenders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni have each signed new deals, the team announced Thursday night. Each had their previous contract expire at the end of the 2012 season.
The moves strengthen a defense that lost the team's Defender of the Year Jeff Parke in a trade last week with the Philadelphia Union.
"Both players have been with us since the start and it was important for us to keep continuity and consistency along a successful back line," coach Sigi Schmid said in a news release.
• The Sounders declined to pick up a contact option on midfielder/defender Michael Tetteh, Seattle's top pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
The team has also declined options on goalkeeper Bryan Meredith and forward/midfielder Cordell Cato, though Hanauer noted there is the possibility Cato could still be back in 2013.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @joshuamayers