In a payroll-capped league like MLS it is often difficult to keep a roster together -- especially a good and mostly young roster like the Sounders'
We asked general manager Adrian Hanauer about that today.
"It’s a great question. It’s certainly going to be more challenging this year than the previous two off-seasons to keep this team together. By virtue of winning Open Cup, we actually were able to squirrel away some allocation money. By virtue of qualifying for the Champions League quarterfinals we got some allocation money. (Those are) also things that make it important for us to excel in those tournaments: The players get some money and the club gets some money to work with. So for the most part, I think by the skin of our chinny-chin-chins we should be able to kind of hold this team together for another year. We will make some moves. We will do some things proactively. It won’t be the same team. But generally we should be able to keep the team together – the core. But … yes, we may entertain offers that we might not have in the second year, third year, because now looking out beyond next year to 2013, it’s going to get even more difficult or impossible to keep the group together. But again, I don’t want to exaggerate that. If we sell one player we can theoretically collect enough allocation money to then keep the rest together. It’s not like we need to get rid of three or four of our best players to make it work. But on occasion, the way the system works, you do have to get rid of a highly compensated player or a young player that has a lot of potential that you can sell and use that money as allocation money.
Hanauer also said the departure of Kasey Keller will not provide much savings, as the incoming goalkeeper will probably command a comparable salary.
"I think ultimately that won’t be a financial saving," Hanauer said. "And we are very close to having that position checked off."
I'll have more on that above.