Washington's New Sport*
The new team is split among it's ownership. The majority owner is Hollywood producerJoe Roth, with minority owners Adrian Hanauer, who is the current owner of Seattle Sounders; Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers; and Drew Carey, a comedian and game show host. The Seattle franchise is believed to have paid a $30 million expansion fee, $10 million more than the last expansion fee paid by the San Jose Earthquakes team. More than 11,000 season ticket deposits have been made since becoming available. Notable season ticket holders include Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire
Drew Carey's involvement with the team came with two conditions: the Seattle MLS team will have a marching band, making it the only professional soccer franchise in America with a marching band, and the ability for fans to buy membership in the team giving them a say in the running of the team and a vote on the general manager, similar to FC Barcelona.
On January 24, 2008, it was announced that former MLS player and Edmonds native Chris Henderson would be joining the front office as the technical director.
Co-owner Drew Carey explained some of the details of the fan involvement in selecting the general manager. "Every four years, there will be an election held for General Manager of our team and whoever the fans vote for will be the General Manager." he continued, "We're still discussing details, such as whether the vote will be by plurality or simple majority, the mechanics of how someone can get themselves on the ballot to run against the current General Manager, and things like that. It's like inventing a government for a brand new country. It's been a very exciting process." Another issue being discussed is a mechanism where the fans (or the owners), can demand a recall of the General Manager if they don't live up to expectations.
Team name The name of the new Seattle MLS team and the future of the USL Sounders is uncertain. "The Sounders name has value, but on the other end of that, lately it has been associated with a Division 2 team," said Robin Waite, member of the Sounders ownership group. "I don't know if they want to rebrand or not. They tried that in San Jose and then went back to their original name."
"But not all name choices work," writes MLSinSeattle.com. "No on Atletico Seattle. No on Sporting Club Seattle. No on Partizan Seattle. No on Seattle Wednesday, Seattle Rovers or Seattle Juniors. The list of submitted names has been winnowed, but there still remain many options." Hanauer predicts that the team's name, logo, and crest will be revealed between March and May 2008.
Players will begin to be signed in the 2008 calendar year in accordance with MLS rules which also allows Seattle to have first pick in the 2009 MLS Draft held in January 2009. The ownership team has not confirmed any specific players they would like to sign but there has been some comment about potential players. Hanauer expects some of the key players from the Sounders, including Sébastien Le Toux, Taylor Graham and Kenji Treschuk, to transfer to the MLS team based on MLS Competition Committee rules. Roth's is considering the impact Asian players could have on the new team, "...I hope that we'll be able to bring in the same caliber of player as Ichiro Suzuki with the Seattle Mariners."In independent interviews, European players and Washington natives Marcus Hahnemann,Kasey Keller and Preston Zimmerman, have expressed interest in playing for the new Seattle team.
MLS Seattle was given first negotiation rights to any player that was not drafted in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and joins the Sounders for the 2008 season. The team can also promote as many players from the 2008 Sounders squad as they'd like, as long as the player's rights are not controlled by another team. ~http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Major_League_Soccer_team
I will get more information as it comes on the new Washington state professional soccer team. ~ Editor of Whats Hott and Whats Nott