After watching his team play its final game of the 2012 season Sunday, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said the club will spend the next few days scheduling end-of-season interviews with his players. Then they will start planning for 2013.
"You should never make your decisions based upon one game,” he said. “You make your decisions based upon the season, so you look at what somebody's give you over the season-consistency of effort, quality of play, all of those things and you make decisions based upon that. In this league, you also have to make decisions based upon the salary cap. Does it work or does it not work?"
General manager Adrian Hanauer said the salary cap will factor in assembling next season’s roster, but he doesn’t expect it to force the club into anything beyond the normal off-season turnover.
Looking ahead, this is the first time the Sounders head into an off-season without having to prepare for an expansion draft.
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The unofficial off-season timeline will have the 2013 league schedule coming out in late December, the player combine in early January, the MLS SuperDraft in mid-January, followed by the opening of training camps.
The Sounders will return to competition at the Tucson Desert Diamond Cup from Feb. 13-23.
They will return to 2012-13 CCL play March 4 at Tigres UNAL of Mexico, with the return match in Seattle on March 11.