The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
by Kyler Parris
The sun was shining, and UW was winning going into the break. Everything was going well, but I was still nervous. Not of the threat of Oregon State’s attack, but of the the trio seated behind me. I hesitantly turned around and started, “Hi Adrian, my name is Kyler and I’m a big fan of yours.”
Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid, GM Adrian Hanauer, and head scout Kurt Schmid agreed to be interviewed following halftime after I put them on the spot. I hastily scribbled down notes on my pad of paper, and as agreed, the second half whistle marked the beginning of our conversation.
“Our goal going into a season is always to put a team out there that can win a championship, whether that’s the Open Cup, Champions League, or the MLS Cup” said Adrian Hanauer. “We’ve got work to do with the team still, but we (recently) made it into the playoffs, and we want to go far into the playoffs, so hopefully the team can do that.”
Sigi Schmid also gave his thoughts on the season; “Thoughts are that we’re happy we qualified for the playoffs, because you can’t win the championship if you don’t go to the playoffs. We’re disappointed that we lost the Open Cup Final in penalty kicks, because we thought we did enough to put ourselves in position for four in a row, which would have been very special. We’re also happy we have our great fans. There have been more positives than anything this year, but our season really hangs in the balance on how the playoffs go.”
Hanauer said that the three biggest surprises of the season are David Estrada, Alex Caskey, and Andy Rose. “To have those guys come in and help as much as they have has been great.” These guys have led the Sounders to victories, and it is a well-known fact that Hanauer is very competitive. “(My favorite part of the job is) Winning. Which also means my least favorite part of the job is probably losing.”
Part of that new winning tradition in the Sounders comes from their advanced scouting. “It’s been mainly colleges around here lately,” Assistant coach and head scout Kurt Schmid began, “Once it gets later in the (college) season we’ll take a couple of the national trips. In the summer we took some trips abroad, but yeah, local colleges for now.”
In my opinion, Adrian has done a tremendous job as GM, and I think that there is very little chance that he will be voted out by the fans. When I asked Adrian if there was anything that he’d like to say to Alliance members about the vote for his job, he chuckled, “Well, I like my job a lot.”
In my family, there’s a bit of a running joke that I am Adrian Hanauer’s “best friend”. This started at my first March to the Match back in ’09. Drew Cary, Joe Roth, and Adrian Hanauer stood on the outskirts of Occidental Park as the ECS led the crowd through some soon-to-be-famous chants. Drew got plenty of photo requests from fans of his shows, and Joe got his fair share, too. But I went straight over to Adrian, whom I had read all about online and in the Times. Over the years I have shouted his name from the stands and gotten his autograph multiple times, but we never had a conversation before that tremendous UW win. And I still think Adrian is great, even though he turned down my offer to be his assistant with something about child labor laws.
Kyler Parris is a seventh-grader at Skyview Junior High (Bothell, WA). He is a goalkeeper and midfielder for his Northshore Select team, as well as the co-captain. He enjoys writing, photography, and, most of all, soccer. Kyler is a participant in our new internship program that allows young writers, photographers and videographers a chance to gain experience covering soccer online. Contact us at goalWA@gmail.com for more intern information.