Sounders Insider

GM: Fans highlight of weekend; Philly uncertain

Since he had admitted some worry beforehand about the interaction of Sounders and Timbers fans at the derby last Saturday, I asked his feelings in retrospect:

"Obviously, a little disappointed in the result," he said. "But the fans were certainly the highlight of the weekend: just absolutely incredible, amazing. The tifo display obviously and the ECS, what they were able to do. The fact that the Portland fans came in and were loud and proud and great. There were very few incidents. It was just a great evening for MLS soccer. The game was OK."

We also asked about the rumored switch of the Philadelphia Union's visit to Qwest Field, which might be moved from July 23 to allow the Union to host a friendly against Real Madrid.

"We'll probably wait to comment on that, but we are a single-entity structure as a league, which means that we -- within reason -- try to work together to do what's best for the league and the game in general," he said. "But the specifics of whether there's a potential game in Philadelphia or a game being moved, we'll wait to comment specifically on that."

We asked if that means the Sounders can't unilaterally veto a date switch. "That's accurate, although we certainly have a lot of ability to navigate our own destiny," he said. "But the board of governors runs our league as a whole. Potentially there could potentially be decisions that one team tries to make on their own that the board of governors would get together and decide on and say, 'Actually no that's not going to be the case. You can't do that on your own.' It almost never gets to that, but we are this single-entity structure for better or worse, and I think the positives outweigh the negatives in general."

However, Hanauer said there could be some competitive advantage to sliding the Philly came back to fall. "We have Champions League play-in and Open Cup in July and August, and Champions League in October and September," he said. "It's pretty crowded throughout. I haven't looked and counted games, but I'm not sure that there really is much of a difference from here on out in the numbers of games. And, again I'm not necessarily commenting on the specifics, but we have a lot of guys injured right now. The more games potentially that we can backload might be good for us."