Sounders FC, Authentic Masterpiece
The Inside Story of the Best Franchise Launch in American Sports History
It sounds like the start of a great joke: A minor-league sports executive, one of the richest men in the world, a stand-up comedian, and a Hollywood movie producer conspire to start a soccer team. But what Adrian Hanauer, Paul Allen, Drew Carey, and Joe Roth did when they started the Seattle Sounders FC was no joke. They meticulously planned the launch of the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise with an eye toward some lofty goals. Then they stood back in amazement as they rocketed far beyond those goals buoyed by a team that ignored its “expansion” label and a fan base that wildly embraced them.Through interviews with key executives, athletes and fans, author Mike Gastineau tells the story leading up to the launch of Sounders FC, the MLS expansion franchise whose seemingly overnight success has captured the attention of the Seattle sports community, sports and entertainment executives, soccer followers across the country and the national news media.In Sounders FC Authentic Masterpiece, readers will learn:* How a money-losing soccer club rocketed from the ranks of the minor leagues to Major League Soccer drawing sell-outs and regularly topping 50,000 fans per match.* The unique relationships between the eclectic group of seasoned sports executives, Hollywood celebrities and bar room soccer fans who came together to build a sports culture that validated Major League Soccer in Seattle and across the country.* The personalities of the players and coaches who took different paths to the team and turned their diversity into a winning team starting on opening night.Gastineau communicates to readers the entire history of events that led to the Sounders FC launch beginning with the role soccer fans played in securing a professional football stadium for the Seattle Seahawks. Also emphasized in the book are the soccer fans, bar owners and soccer subculture that existed in Seattle and was waiting to be acknowledge by mainstream professional sports leaders and media. The book also details how that soccer subculture directly impacted one of the biggest deals in MLS history, the signing of superstar Clint Dempsey in 2013. This is a story of sports, business, culture, timing, and luck. It demonstrates how powerful business people were able to check their egos and embrace their customers all for the sake of the fans, the city, and a soccer culture desperate to embrace a sports team that treated them with respect.