The Atlanta Silverbacks sold their rights to host their third-round U.S. Open Cup match next week to Sounders FC. The game will now be played at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
Now, both sides have publicly explained their motivations for the move.
Here's an article from IMSoccerNews.com, interviewing Silverbacks owner Boris Jerkunica.
And here is some of an interview this morning from Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer:
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"My main priority is my team and our club and our organization, the well-being of our players and winning as many tournaments as possible, and as many games as possible. And again, part of that is keeping the mileage off our players. So a big portion of the thinking was, ‘We’re sitting up here in the Northwest, we already travel tens of thousands more miles than teams that aren’t in the Northwest. We’re playing Champions League. We’ve won three Open Cups, we’ve played Champions League now our third year. We’ve dug up the stats: We’re played 20, 25, 30 games than other teams over this period of times. That’s a lot of mileage on the players. And so we engaged in conversations with Atlanta. The president’s an old friend of mine. We were able to come to an agreement. Clearly it’s for them also, because they wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t. I understand that some people might feel like this is bypassing the system and playing against the rules. Again, my priority is my team, our organization. So we’re willing to play within whatever rules are set by U.S. Soccer, but it’s their tournament and we’re going to do whatever we can to protect our brand and our organization in that process."