Prior to joining the United States Gold Cup team, Marcus Hahnemann made a stop in the Seattle area. It turns out, he wasn't just making a quick run to his offseason home. While he was here, Hahnemann met with Seattle Sounders officials about the possibility of joining the team, perhaps as soon as this summer.
"Marcus was in town. We sat down and talked," Sounders GM and part owner Adrian Hanauer told Sounder at Heart. "We explained the way players like him come in through the league. That’s kind of where we left it."
Hanauer admitted the Sounders are definitely interested in Hahnemann, but it's not quite as simple as whether or not there's mutual interest. Part of the issue is that while Hahnemann is currently available -- he was recently released by Wolverhampton -- the Sounders are not in need of a starting caliber goalkeeper as long as Kasey Keller is healthy, meaning Hahnemann would likely be relegated to a backup role until next season.
Beyond that, if Hahnemann were to end up with the Sounders it would only be after first signing with the league and then being subjected to the allocation order. Currently, the Sounders are seventh on that list, meaning the six teams ahead of them would either have to pass on Hahnemann or trade their spot to the Sounders in order for him to end up in Seattle.
The good news for the Sounders is that all six of the teams ahead of them have relatively settled at goalkeeper. The bad news is that the Sounders do not have very much salary cap room and if Hahnemann were to sign a more cap friendly contract then he'd also be a lot more attractive to those teams ahead of the Sounders.
The cap room the Sounders do have is likely going to be spent on an offensive player. Theoretically, a player could be signed as soon as now and start training with the team, but could not officially be added to the roster until the summer transfer window opens on July 15. Hanauer indicated the Sounders have narrowed their "short list" to about eight players and said that list includes both frees and players who would require a transfer fee.
"We do have a bit of a priority ranking," said Hanauer, noting that the team is equally open to adding an attack-minded midfielder or a forward. "Even though they are on our list, we’re continuing to watch more and more video, talking to more and more people, collecting as much information as possible. The prioity could shift slightly.
"There’s an economic balance to be weighed as well. It’s easy to say the most expensive one is at the top of our list, but he may be at top of our list in terms of who can have most impact, but we do have a business to run and we have to balance those against each other."