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Owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer shares his thoughts on Philadelphia joining Major League Soccer.

Owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer shares his thoughts on Philadelphia joining Major League Soccer for the 2010 season and how it might affect Seattle’s first season.

I was very excited to watch the press conference held last Thursday in Philadelphia.  Certainly it brought back the feeling that I had during our announcement a few months ago. 

I am really happy for the fans of that great city, and look forward 2010 when they are in the league.  They have a great ownership group, a great management team, a great fan base, and I am certain that they will be successful.

Also, speaking from experience, the fact that they have 2-plus years to plan for their launch will be very helpful.  Building a world-class organization takes time. 

The two years will probably drive the fans crazy and drag on, but from a management perspective, the time will fly by.  Also, given that a stadium will be constructed in Chester, obviously, this adds to the necessary runway.

Of course, having 16 teams in 2009 would have been nice.  Still, the unbalanced conferences are not a significant negative.  The most important issue for MLS is slow, steady, managed growth.

Although we have not yet had these discussions, I would imagine that the 2010 launch for Philadelphia means improved strength for our 2009 Seattle MLS roster, such as an anticipated No. 1 pick in the 2009 SuperDraft, and no competition during the expansion draft.  Combined with the chance to bring a few players from the 2008 Sounders to the MLS roster, this means that we should have an extremely competitive side in 2009.

The expansion in MLS is very exciting, and I know that there are many other cities vying for the next slots in expansion.  Right along with the fans, I will be as interested to see how all this evolves.

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