Seattle Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer will have his job status determined by online fan vote in an unprecedented act for a U.S. professional sports franchise.
The Sounders will be holding an online fan vote for season-ticket holders and their Alliance fan association (made up of season-ticket holders and non-season-ticket-holding paying members) to determine whether Hanauer, also a minority owner of the club, will remain in charge of the perennial playoff contender's personnel decisions or be replaced by someone else, an act unprecedented in American sports.
The online voting process -- which is being held at SoundersFCVote.com -- will take place over the course of two months, from Oct. 7 to Dec. 7. Fan voting for major decisions is nothing new for the Sounders, as the club has permitted its supporters to vote for its team name, fan association name and band name and its brief MLS history.
The final day of voting is six days after the MLS Cup final, something that the legions of Sounders fans have been craving since the team's inception in MLS in 2009.
Regardless of whether the Sounders capture the first MLS Cup in team history, Hanauer's reign as general manager has been rather successful. In addition to the various attendance records that the club has set and acquiring the likes of Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales and Eddie Johnson, Seattle has made the playoffs every season it has been in the league and is closing in on a fourth straight postseason berth. The club has also won three U.S. Open Cup titles and fell just short of an unprecedented fourth straight title in a penalty-kick loss to Sporting Kansas City this summer.
The early returns would suggest that the Sounders fans will vote in support of Hanauer. The club's supporters group, Emerald City Supporters, wrote on its Twitter page (@WeAreECS), "ECS supports the retention of Adrian Hanauer as General Manager. #AdrianIN" within an hour of the club's voting announcement Tuesday.
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