We got to speak to Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and general manager Adrian Hanauer today, for the first time since the Sounders revealed their series of preseason friendlies leading to the start of CONCACAF Champions League and the MLS seasons.
Here's some of what they had to say:
HANAUER on making the Community Shield a free event:You know we always like to shake things up and do things a little differently and keep our partners around the league on their toes. We wanted to raise money for our charity partners, and it just seemed like it’s easier than selling tickets online. We hope that we raise as much money, and potentially more people can come to the game because we’re not going to ask for a specific amount of money. If somebody can afford 50 cents, fantastic. If they can afford $50, that’s great. So nothing scientific. Nothing really to read into it. It just felt like kind of a fun way to bring people into the stadium.
HANAUER on arranging two friendlies during the Mexican Premiera Division season:Somewhat difficult. Thankfully we have good relationships with both the people at Atlante and Jaguares, and they were good enough to work with us and schedule these games with us. It’s good for them as well: new experience, new type of opponent.
SCHMID on arranging a series of Wednesday friendlies:We want to get them into a Wednesday-to-Wednesday rhythm for the beginning of the year and the competition that we’ve got with Santos. So you’ve got the Columbus Crew on the Wednesday, then the following Wednesday you’ve got Atlante, and the following Wednesday you’ve got Jagurares, and the following Wednesday you’ve for Santos. So it allows us to build into a really good rhythm in terms of playing them.