We got some time with general manager Adrian Hanauer today, asking about the affects on MLS' new designated player rule (see posts below) on Sounders FC:
"This franchise is an aggressive and progressive thinking and looking franchise, and certainly we’re going to look to use this new rule to our best advantage. It allows us to open our eyes and imagine some more very, very special players playing for our fans here in Seattle."
On whether he expects more than one DP on the roster by the All-Star break:I wouldn’t want to predict how we use the DP slots. But certainly we will look to get better as a team always, whether that means bringing guys in on salaries that fit within the cap or designated players. But certainly the reports are out there: We’ve made some money, we have the ability to do this and run a responsible business. So certainly we’re out there looking at different opportunities.
On whether Blaise Nkufo could be signed to a DP contract:"It could be. We have a couple of mechanisms at our disposal to fit Nkufo under our budget. The DP possibility is one of them. But we luckily don’t have to decide until summer, until he actually is on the roster officially to make that decision."
(Hanauer said it would also be possible to use the DP slot to keep an existing player -- I used the example of Fredy Montero -- rather than losing him to a richer league. However, Hanauer implied that he would prefer use the DP slot to bring in new players.)
On whether the club might use the league maximum of three designated players:"We have a good business. It’s a $250,000 charge to buy a DP. It’s certainly something that’s conceivable."