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For Alliance Members to decide whether to retain Adrian Hanauer or give him a vote of no confidence, is as much about the voter as it is about how Adrian Hanauer has performed as the General Manager of the Seattle Sounders FC.
When is good not good enough? In sports, that happened in Atlanta when the consistently strong performance of the Braves eventually was not good enough to maintain attendance. In Seattle, where the Sounders season ticket holders have the right to vote, good isn't good enough for those that want Hanauer out. They are empowered to vote, and should vote. But their vote is wrong.
How you feel about this vote is a window into how high your own standards are. Are you able to be satisfied with being in the top 20% over a four year stretch? Or do you feel that a team must be the best at all times? Frankly, the latter is a ridiculously high standard. The Seattle Sounders FC, this MLS entity is very good. They are not excellent, but excellence is rare in this league and the only team that is surely excellent was the inaugural D.C. United dynasty. Other teams tread along that line (early Fire, recent LA, Quakes, Dynamo, if Sounders get MLS Cup this year).
The type of prolonged success that the Sounders have under Adrian Hanauer is not just good, it is impressive. There are many reasons to retain Hanauer as the GM. None of them have to do with his impressive time as an owner and part of the group that has so successfully brought the business of soccer to Seattle.
1 - Four Straight MLS Cup Playoff Appearances
Only three teams have appeared in the 2009-2012 MLS Cup Playoffs. While both LA and RSL did manage an MLS Cup in that stretch, the fact is that none of the other organizations around the league have managed this. Only one of those two is part of the Garber era as well. Seattle started from nothing and had a chance at Cup success every year.
2 - Three Straight US Open Cups
Winning trophies is a big deal. Seattle did it on the road in 2009. In 2010 they took out the Crew at home. In 2011 it was the "Kings of the Cup" who couldn't reclaim their glory. Even in 2012 the Sounders were very good and it took a penalty kick loss, that goes in the records as a draw, for Seattle to not take the Cup. It may be the least of the three major trophies for an American team, but it is certainly better to win it than not.
3 - Two Straight Appearances in CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals
International success helped draw players like Michael Gspurning and Adam Johansson to sign here. While the initial foray into the CCL was poor, Seattle now holds a total record in that competition of 10-9-2 +1 GD against the rest of the federation in competition that matters. Every year they've done better and were the second MLS team to beat a Mexican team in Mexico in a competitive game.
4 - Tied Second Most Regular Season Wins 2009 to present, Most All Competitions Wins
Seattle's Playoff failures does not hurt the all competitions numbers, primarily because the club has done so well in the Open Cup and regular season play. The Galaxy have the best regular season record in the same period of time. The Sounders are tied with Salt Lake seven wins back from LA over this near four year stretch so it would be impossible to catch Arena's team in 2012, but that's the only team clearly better in the stretch.
5 - Signed Two Newcomer of the Year, 1 Keeper of Year, 4 US OC Player of Tournament
Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso are all here because of Hanauer. Nate Jaqua and Kasey Keller had ties to the area that may go beyond who the GM was at the time. But that isn't the only list of players earning awards. Eddie Johnson could be the Comeback Player of the Year. Michael Gspurning could be the Keeper of the Year and/or Newcomer. In 2009 Freddie Ljungberg made the MLS Best XI. Sounders also are getting occasional, though not regular national team calls. Almost all of those talents are here because of Adrian.
When you say that Adrian Hanauer should not remain the GM of the team you are saying that regularly finding high quality players is not enough. You are saying that winning many more games than they lose is not good enough. You are saying that the team is winning the wrong kinds of trophies. You are saying that success in continental competitions is not good enough. It's like a Dairy Queen ad - When Good Isn't Good Enough.
A vote against Hanauer is not showing drive towards something better. Something better is already here. Retaining Hanauer is the only option. Anything else would be riDQulous.