Here is some of what Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer had to say tonight about the club parting ways with designated player Blaise Nkufo:
On what went wrong:I think some of it is going to be left behind closed doors, but again it was mutual as Sigi said. O’Brian White starting to play well, Nate Jaqua coming back from injury, certainly from a team-management standpoint cap management is what we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. And there is a part to the league rules that says that unless something like this is done before the beginning of the season, you can’t do it a game or two or three in.
On the timing:Other than the fact that it’s kind of a big story on opening night, which is unfortunate, there was no negative – at least from the club’s standpoint – from this happening later rather than earlier. We open up a lot of cap space, because Blaise was on the cap at $335,000. It gives us an opportunity to address other needs if we see them immediately or during the summer if that’s something we’re interested in. It opens up a designated player slot for us. So it gives us a lot of options.
In light of Ljungberg and now Nkufo, is it trickier than it looks to find the right DP to drop bags on money on:For sure it’s trickier than it looks. You can go back through the history of DPs in this league and I’d say that there are less examples of huge successes than examples of failures. That said, Blaise was very good for us last year. There was no huge drama on this conversation. The other thing is, some DPs are bags of money, Blaise as it relates to designated players is not bags of money. So if in fact the ownership at some point – and this is still in the negotiation phase – if the owernship group has to write a check to clear some space, then it’s not going to be heaps of cash that finalizes this scenario.