Sounders Insider

Hanauer wants voice in Open Cup changes

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid volunteered a little shot today at the tweets of FC Dallas' Daniel Hernandez that implied the Sounders have won their three U.S. Open Cups through the site-bidding process.

"But I think (our players) have got to be proud, and I felt they needed to enjoy what they accomplished Tuesday night," Schmid said. "Ten or 20 years from now people are going to look back and say, ‘That’s a phenomenal accomplishment' – no matter what Daniel Hernandez thinks."

Meanwhile, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said he was only barely aware of Hernandez's comments. However, Hanauer himself has given considerable time and thought to the tournament and hopes his voice will be among those invited into any conversations about how the 98-year-old tournament should evolve from here.

"I want the tournament to grow in profile, and for it to continue to become more relevant in every market in MLS, in USL, NASL, lower divisions, amateur divisions," Hanauer said. "It’s probably above my pay grade to say whether the bidding process can help raise the profile. I’d like to be in the conversation, though.

"I think having been involved with this tournament for 10 years, I can add some insight. We’ll gladly participate and try to win no matter what bidding system there is. But I think there are other fundamental pieces of the tournament.

"I don’t think the bidding process is going to change the profile of the tournament, necessarily. It might make a few people happy, it might make a few people unhappy. But ultimately, I’m not convinced that’s what is going to raise the profile. Although that’s something to think about and worry about and potentially change, I think there are other factors that could be even more important, whether that’s continuing to try to drive television exposure, trying to continue to make it an even bigger priority for every team that plays. And by priority that may mean prize money, it may mean other things. By potentially working with sponsors to help, whether it’s generate revenue or generate exposure for the tournament. By educating the fan base at a national and local and league level. So on and so forth: all small little pieces that hopefully add up to one bigger more important more relevant tournament."