Sounders Insider

Alliance meeting: Xbox jersey sponsor through 2016; Trust rep on S2 board, more

ParamuontThe Sounders Alliance annual business meeting was held Saturday night at the Paramount in downtown Seattle.

There were several topics of interest for those who follow the club. Among them, it was revealed that Xbox will remain the jersey sponsor through 2016, and perhaps longer. A formal news announcement sounds like it could be coming soon.

Others:

* In an interview session before the meeting, owner Joe Roth said the club came close to released coach Sigi Schmid after last season. However, Roth and the organization is pleased it changed personnel instead. They seem happy to have Schmid even if the Sounders' season stops before MLS Cup.

* Relatedly, both Roth and general manager Adrian Hanauer indicated they think Supporters' Shield indicates that Sounders FC deserves to be considered the best team in MLS this season.

*Roth said the Sounders wanted to get tougher this season, believes they did, and cited central defender Chad Marshall as perhaps the most important off-season move.

*Roth indicated no particular alarm that the Sounders failed to set another attendance record this season.

* The club said it doesn't yet know how many 2015 games will be played with a fully opened stadium. They said they'll wait to see the schedule before deciding which games merit the full-stadium treatment.

*The club has begun discussions with possible opponents for the 2015 friendly -- some from the EPL, some not.

* Local TV ratings were up 32 percent. Roth said a new local contract is expected to be announced soon. He also said he thinks the more dependable national TV windows should help MLS ratings through the length of the new national TV deals.

* It was announced that popular former Sounder Roger Levesque will join the club as director of community relations.

* The club hopes Seattle will be chosen to host some 2016 Copa America games ... and is open to one day hosting and MLS All-Star game.

Also this release from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC 2 announced at tonight's Alliance Annual Business Meeting that a Sounders Community Trust representative on the S2 Executive Board will also serve on the USL PRO Board of Governors during the 2015 season. The Sounders Community Trust is a charitable, fan and supporter-managed, non-profit organization with a 20-percent interest in S2. The Trust will appoint one representative to contribute to the making of key strategic and policy decisions related to USL PRO.

"We are committed to involving the Sounders Community Trust in all S2 operations decisions. This includes our involvement in league operations," said S2 General Manager Andrew Opatkiewicz. "The Trust has a vested interest in S2, and the league we compete in, and I have no doubt this representative will bring real value to USL PRO meetings."

The USL PRO Board of Governors meets on a regular basis to discuss and decide key strategic and policy decisions related to the governance of the league. USL PRO is a United States Soccer Federation-sanctioned league that is currently in the midst of a multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. Each team in the league sends two representatives to the USL PRO Board of Governors meetings. Representing S2 will be Opatkiewicz and the SCT member representative to S2, who has yet to be announced.

"Based on Sounders FC's history of embracing and empowering the role of their supporters in key aspects of the club, it is no surprise that S2 would take the groundbreaking step of a taking a leader from within the Sounders Community Trust and having them play a very direct and active role in its executive decision-making process," said USL PRO President Tim Holt. "We look forward to this individual's input and contributions at the league level."

The appointed Sounders Community Trust member will also serve on the S2 Executive Board that oversees all team operations.

Additionally, several upcoming Sounders FC club announcements were revealed during Saturday's Alliance Annual Business Meeting at Seattle's iconic Paramount Theatre. Among these news items delivered by Sounders FC Majority Owner Joe Roth, Owner and General Manager Adrian Hanauer, Owner Drew Carey and Chief Operating Officer Bart Wiley were the addition of former player Roger Levesque as the club's new Director of Community Outreach; details surrounding the team's new Clubhouse on the first level of its Pioneer Square headquarters; and jersey information regarding Sounders FC's 2015 MLS kits.

Complete information regarding these announcements will be officially unveiled in the weeks ahead. Further coverage of tonight's event can be found via SoundersFC.com: http://sndrs.com/ndh7

ABOUT SOUNDERS FC 2

Announced on October 14, 2014, Sounders FC 2 is the club's Second Team, playing in USL PRO starting in the 2015 season. Known as S2, the team represents a link between the Sounders FC Academy and Sounders FC First Team. Playing its home matches at Starfire Stadium, S2 emphasizes development and community involvement, and will provide a consistent and competitive professional environment for promising Academy players and certain First Team players to progress. The team will operate under the management of Sounders FC and the Sounders Community Trust, an unprecedented, fan-owned organization that will hold a 20-percent interest in the team.

ABOUT THE SOUNDERS COMMUNITY TRUST

The first organization of its kind in MLS, the Sounders Community Trust is a charitable, fan and supporter-managed, non-profit organization that will assume a 20-percent interest of Sounders FC 2. The Trust will elect one representative to sit on the Second Team Executive Board with the purpose of both influencing and supporting the direction of Sounders FC through S2, as well as helping support access to soccer in the community.

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