Disappointment simply is; the rest remains ours to decide.
Certes, the loss of local team’s chance to play for the league championship is disappointing, but then again it is hardly like losing a war, or even sending troops abroad to a war they don’t need to fight. Disappointment is relative; its magnitude and priority are determined in the mind of the beholder.
And when that disappointment also means the end of a sporting season, there are plenty of ways to distract ourselves. For instance, there are the farewells and thanks to offer:
In the summer of 2012, Marcus Hahnemann got an unexpected call from Adrian Hanauer, the Owner & General Manager of Sounders FC. He was asked if he wanted to play.
“My question was, ‘For who?'” Hahnemann recalls. “He said the Sounders, and I went, ‘Yeah, I’m in, but [goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra] should probably come take a look at me, because I haven’t been training for three months.'”
Hahnemann was a retired goalkeeper living in the Seattle area when he received that call. He always wanted to return to his hometown’s club, but the opportunity didn’t work out in Sounders FC’s first three years in MLS.
Hanauer gave him that opportunity, and now a couple of years later, Hahnemann is retiring as a member of the team he began his career with more than two decades ago.
Sounder at heart. Sounder for life. Thank you, Marcus Hahnemann.
And then there are the questions of who will return next year; Sounder FC Public Relations devised a handy Q&A session with SFC Sporting Director Chris Henderson about the eleven protected players announced this week:
What are your thoughts on the 11 players the club chose to protect in Wednesday’s Expansion Draft?
“It’s always a difficult decision to protect just 11 players on your roster. There are so many factors to consider on the team side and the player side, as well. We have a lot of great players to choose from because we’ve made it a priority to have a deep roster that can compete in all competitions. We wish we could protect more, but unfortunately it’s a reality of our sport, so we have to make some tough decisions.”
There are some veteran players on Sounders FC’s unprotected list. When you make these decisions on specific personnel, is there a calculated risk for the technical staff?
“Yeah, there is. You have to look at the whole team. It’s a difficult decision having to pick 11 guys. We’ve all discussed things and debated it, and there’s a lot that goes into it with regards to age and player form, contracts, the future of the team and where we’re going. We’ve had some really tough decisions and you can only protect 11, so there’s many times we wish we could protect 15, but we had to cut off the line. We keep our fingers crossed leading into this draft. Sometimes you take risk and you leave a player out there and you can get by without losing someone.”
The protected players list arrived yesterday, and it looks about like we might expect. Furthermore, the dynamic this year is altered by the arrival of two new clubs—note the word “expansion”. And perhaps this is one of the strengths of soccer; professional-league expansion requires large sums of money in order that the new teams can have something of a chance coming out of the gate. But the personnel contract rules for soccer are considerably different from what Americans are accustomed to with NFL, MLB, and NBA contracts. For the sake of the league, that works out okay.