Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer and coach Sigi Schmid held an end-of-season media event today, looking back at 2012 and ahead to 2013.
I tweeted several highlights earlier @donruiztnt. And I'll add more later.
But for now, here is some of Hanauer's opening overview:
Obviously we’re disappointed that we’re sitting here instead of in LA or in Seattle preparing for a game against Houston. We certainly believe that we had some good moments and good stretches this season and that generally it was another solid season. … With the playoff win we felt like maybe we got the monkey off of our back there. No excuses, but the reality is we were on short rest for our first game in LA. Maybe a call goes the other way in LA, maybe a call goes the other way in Seattle, and again we’re preparing for an MLS Cup instead of deciding what we’re going to try to do for next season. So, that said – and what was always going to be the case -- is we were going to get through this season … and we would reassess things. And every year we go through this process. I’ve said it every year that the team the following year will be different than the team we had this past year, and that will be the case again come next preseason. Whether the changes are moderate or dramatic, we’ll figure that out along the way. We’ve kept this core around for four years … and each year gets a little more challenging from a cap-management standpoint. When you’re an expansion team you get a pile of allocation money that helps to buy down the salary cap. We were extremely efficient with our use of that allocation money, and then collected more along the way … through qualifying for Champions League and qualifying for the quarterfinals of Champions League and through expansion and some transactions. Suffice it to say that a lot of that flow of allocation money has dried up, and we sit here today in certainly a very cap-constrained situation. So we’ve got our work cut out for us in terms of who we’re able to bring back, and then beyond that in terms of what we decide to do with the group that was here in 2012 and how we move forward and how we construct a team that sets us up for next year and beyond and gets us into another position where we think we can have a better chance of winning an MLS Cup than we had even this year.