The Seattle Sounders have dropped the inclusion of an international friendly from the their 2013 season-ticket package, and general manager Adrian Hanauer said today that it's due to fan interest and team flexibility.
That doesn't mean the Sounders won't schedule an international friendly, however. Hanauer told The News Tribune that they would sell an exhibition match as a one-piece deal if they find an international team to play.
"We've obviously done a bunch of friendlies over the years, they've gone really well, we enjoy doing them," Hanauer said. "But at the same time, we've listened to our fans. We've heard - it's of course mixed - but some of the feedback is ‘We're way more interested in competitive games than exhibitions.'"
Hanauer added that making a ticket package with a friendly gives the franchise less room to maneuver, locking them in to a date. The GM said he wants to avoid a high-powered European club reaching a deal and then forcing the Sounders into "negotiating from a position of weakness."
Between sponsoring, ticketing and even the schedule, Hanauer said the right team would have to be agreeable to Seattle's terms rather than vice versa.