Garth Lagerwey is scheduled to formally be introduced to the Seattle soccer media in a few minutes. But if you want a preview of some of his thoughts about his new gig, you really should check out the interview he did with Don Ruiz of the Tacoma News-Tribune on Monday.
Here are some of the highlights:
On the job:
"I'm really humbled to be able to join an organization that has had so much success. The way I'm thinking about it is just if I can and the folks that are already there - there's a ton of talent in the front office and on the coaching staff, as well as on the field - but if we can all collectively make everybody 1 percent better, hopefully that's enough to tip this thing over the edge and bring the Sounders that elusive MLS Cup and hopefuly some success in Champions League - even more success than they've already had."
Observation: He's clearly excited, and why wouldn't he be? This is a huge opportunity for him. At RSL, he was constantly being told to make do with less, but now he's got as many resources as any team in North America.
On suddenly becoming the new boss of a front office that was already successful:
"People I guess get worried about egos and placating everybody, and I just look at it as a collaboration. I thought that the reason we succeeded at RSL over time was through group effort. ... I certainly would rather work with talented people and people with proven success. I think that's an exciting job. That's not something that I would shy away from and I think if we put our heads together I think we can be pretty darn effective."
Observation: It's hard to know how involved Sigi Schmid and Chris Henderson were in making this hire, but it's probably safe to say they weren't given veto power over it. This is perhaps the biggest challenge he'll face, getting the other cooks in the kitchen to buy his vision. It's also worth noting that he mentions Adrian Hanauer as still being in the room where decisions are made.
On his overall vision:
"One of the first things to do is to vertically integrate the clubs. All of the teams - RSL, Sounders a couple of others - that have launched these USL teams - need now for somebody to come in with a strategic vision and to implement academy to S2 to first team. What does that progression look like? What's the strategic plan? How are we benchmarking success? How are we moving this along? Those are long-term things. Those are five-year plans, to try to increase the overall depth of talent on the squad and frankly to create salary cap efficiencies."
Observation: Lagerwey is talking about a five-year plan here and having that long-range vision is great, but he also seems to understand that there are very real immediate pressures, too. Will be interesting to see where this goes.