After Sounders FC’s 4-0 home loss to Los Angeles on Saturday, second-year forward Steve Zakuani said, “I think the fans deserve a big apology. They can’t pay to watch that.”
On Sunday, general manager Adrian Hanauer agreed. And after consulting with his fellow owners and club executives, he turned Zakuani’s comment into action.
“That performance (Saturday) wasn’t good enough,” Hanauer said. “The effort wasn’t good enough. The execution wasn’t good enough. The heart wasn’t good enough. The passion wasn’t good enough. The only thing that was good enough was our fans. And so we decided that we are going to give our fans their money back for that game.”
The actual plan doesn’t return money. However, the club decided that season ticket-holders who renew next season will get one game free.
“It’ll come in the form of a credit against next season’s season tickets because we want people in it for the long haul,” Hanauer said. “… It’s not a precedent. We don’t plan on giving people their money back every time we have a bad game. But as the owners of the club we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”
While Hanauer said the move is a message to Sounders fans, coach Sigi Schmid said his players should read a message for them between the lines.
“Each player should understand that’s how management feels about their effort,” he said. “We talked about our effort (Sunday) morning before we came out on the training field. … So they know how I feel about it. Everybody has got to walk into it and be prepared to give everything they have every time they step on the field – give the full 95 minutes or whatever it takes.”
The loss dropped Seattle’s record to 2-3-3, last place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference and out of current playoff position.
While Hanauer moved to make things right in the stands, he said he also is ready to make changes on the pitch.
“Short term, we can get more aggressive in our conversations when teams call us and say, ‘Is this guy available’ or ‘Are you interested in that guy?,’ ” he said. “Maybe losing a guy with a little more talent and gaining a guy with a little more passion and heart is going to be worth the trade. (Then) the June World Cup break and then the subsequent July transfer window … is an opportunity to make some changes. … This organization just doesn’t intend to be a last-place team.”
The Sounders reserves beat the Yakima Reds of the Premier Development League, 2-1, on Sunday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Roger Levesque scored both Seattle goals. … Pat Noonan (hamstring) played 30 minutes. If he responds well, he might be available Saturday at New York. … Forward Nate Jaqua (lower abdomen) is expected to start training with the team this week. … The quad injury suffered by midfielder Osvaldo Alonso on Saturday doesn’t appear as bad as the club originally feared – a one- or two-week injury, Schmid estimated. … The Sounders are off today before returning to training Tuesday at Starfire.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer