We got a little time with general manager Adrian Hanauer after Sounders training today, and he confirmed the club will host an international friendly as part of its 18-game 2014 season-ticket package.
"We’re going to do an 18-game plan again – add a friendly," he said. "We don’t have the name of the team yet. We’re working on it, but I’ve mentioned before these things come together, fall apart, come together, fall apart. But we like doing the friendlies. There’s some fans who don’t like friendlies. There are a lot of fans who do like the friendlies, I guess by empirical evidence of the number of fans who show up for the friendlies. It’s a great opportunity. We’ve talked about measuring ourselves against team around the world – off the field and on the field. This is one of those ways where we can measure ourselves. . We’ve talked about measuring ourselves against teams around the world – off the field and on the field. This is one of those ways where we can measure ourselves. It’s a great opportunity for the players. It’s a great opportunity quite frankly for the front office staff to interact with other clubs and share best practices. It’s not to say we will always do a friendly, but those are the types of things that went into the thinking."
He was asked if the Sounders would continue to aim for an opponent from among the best clubs in the world.
"I would say a high-quality club," he said. "Given that it’s a World Cup year it’s a little bit funky with timing and rosters. So in some ways getting maybe not one of those ‘top eight’ clubs you might end up with a stronger roster, because if you’re playing it during that period of the World Cup, half the team may be gone from some of those top clubs. So we’ll kind of wweigh all those things together."
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Also, with the MLS roster freeze coming up Friday, Hanauer said the club is always looking for ways to improve, but he gave no indication that anything significant is on the front burner.
"We’re always in contact with other teams, we’re always looking at players and we’re always trying to strengthen the squad," he said. "It’s about all I can say. I have no prognostication about whether we’ll do something. But if there’ s way to strength the squad we’ll try to do that."