Seattle Sounders hire former Real Salt Lake executive Garth Lagerwey as new general manager

Associated Press

Adrian Hanauer was ready to step away as general manager of the Seattle Sounders after three or four seasons and focus more on the business side of the operation.

Hanauer had to wait a little longer than he wanted to get Garth Lagerwey as the Sounders' next general manager.

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"It became clear to me that Garth should ultimately be the one to replace me," Hanauer said. "But those things take time and Garth had a contract and was doing great things in Salt Lake City and ultimately his contract was expiring and at a time he was able to look into his future. And I was very anxious to have that conversation with him."

Lagerwey was hired as the Sounders' new general manager Tuesday. He comes to Seattle after seven-plus seasons as the general manager of Real Salt Lake, helping turn that franchise into an MLS Cup winner.

Now he'll be responsible for all the soccer operations in soccer-crazy Seattle with the task of acquiring the one lingering item missing from the Sounders' trophy case: An MLS Cup.

"I really felt like I had to move on. I had to move forward in my career," Lagerwey said. "And I think the Sounders are an ambitious club. They are very well run and there are qualities that will transfer very well from RSL to Seattle."

The addition of Lagerwey will allow Hanauer to focus on the business operations of the club. Hanauer owns one-third of the franchise, but felt his involvement in long-term planning for the growth of the franchise was lagging as he focused on the soccer side of the operation.

"Generally trying to be a little more strategic and spend my time in that capacity and look out five, 10, 20 years," Hanauer said. "For the last seven years I've been pretty mired down in the day to day of watching player video, and going to college games, and spending time at combines, and going on scouting trips and I haven't had enough time to focus on the bigger picture."

Lagerwey spent five seasons as a goalkeeper in the MLS from 1996-2000, playing for Kansas City, Dallas and Miami. He was hired by Real Salt Lake in 2007.