If you're one of those Seattle Sounders fans who thinks the team's biggest failure is an unwillingness to spend big money on the best players, this may be the offseason for you.
Speaking at the End of Year Business Meeting on Friday, majority owner Joe Roth made it clear that money would be no object as the team continues the pursuit of the MLS Cup.
"We are absolutley committed to winning MLS Cup and if we don’t win, it’s not because we haven’t spent enough money on the players," Roth told the crowd. "We may have picked the wrong players, but believe me if the equivalent of Robbie Keane is out there, we’ll go get him and pay for him. We owe all of this to you.
"This is really a service organization. I, who produce movies in my day job, would rather win the MLS Cup than produce another movie that does $1 billion."
While GM and part owner Adrian Hanauer has previously said similar things this offseason, Roth is unencumbered by realities of roster building. Unlike Hanauer who has to worry about actually finding the players and, just as importantly, figuring out what to do with the three players that currently occupy the Sounders three DP spots, Roth can put his desires more simply.
And it's not just spending money on DPs, either. He also seemed more than a little annoyed that the Sounders were forced into a coin-flip to decide who would host the U.S. Open Cup final.
"We lost a coin toss and I can guarantee you that we will never be in a situation where there will be a coin toss again," he said. "It was just an oversight on our part."
The Sounders have never been thrifty. They are among the league leaders in terms of what they spend on their youth development, training facilities, television production, statistical research ... the list goes on. But many of those are areas that the average fan doesn't see.
With these statements, Roth seems to be indicating the Sounders are more inclined to flex their financial muscle than they ever have been before. That doesn't mean they'll be able to sign in-their-prime European stars, but it does make players like Joan Verdu seem far more attainable. It suggests that guys currently starring in places like Mexico or Argentina should be well within their price range. At the very least, it suggests this crazy offseason has only just begun.