Lagerwey: Seattle's time of being biggest spenders in MLS are behind them

Garth Lagerwey, Adrian Hanauer - Seattle Sounders
ExtraTime Live: Banc of California Stadium Opening

There's so much room for activities in this edition of ExtraTime Live driven by Continental Tire. Join Wiebe and Gass out west as they explore Banc of California Stadium and preview Los Angeles Football Club vs. Seattle Sounders FC.

Posted by ExtraTime Live on Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Seattle Sounders are one of the most successful MLS teams of the past decade, with a rabid fanbase, an MLS Cup, a Supporters' Shield, an additional MLS Cup final appearance and four U.S. Open Cup titles.

They were one of the teams that led the charge of the "MLS 2.0" era, but with almost 10 years passing since they first entered the league, club president Garth Lagerwey admits the Sounders' previous position as one of the league's biggest spenders is changing.

Lagerwey spoke to Andrew Wiebe about the growth of the league in recent years on ExtraTime Live on Sunday from Banc of California Stadium, ahead of LAFC's stadium-opening 1-0 win over the Sounders.

"The growth of the league, the last two years, you look at Atlanta, now LAFC coming in, we've got 23 teams playing, three more in the works, sounds like another one soon. It's bonkers, man. You can't keep up," Lagerwey said. "Just looking at the level of the players teams are acquiring and how fast the envelope is getting pushed, it's cool. It's a really good time to be part of MLS."

The Sounders are off to a difficult start this season, largely due to injuries, and while they have been linked with a late deal before the Primary Transfer Window closes on Tuesday, Lagerwey noted that in the big picture, Seattle's place in the MLS pecking order in terms of spending is changing.

"For us, we've got to be efficient," he explained. "I think the days of Seattle being the biggest spender in the league are probably behind us. And by the way, that's a good thing. If you run in MLS, you want to be big in LA, you want to be big in New York, you want to be big in Toronto, you want to be big in Atlanta, you want to be big in these major, major markets.

"Seattle, honestly, we're allowed to punch above our weight because of our fanbase. Our fans are incredible, have been from day one, and they kind of launched the franchise out of a cannon and gave them a good running start. Look, the landscape is shifting, it's changing, and it forces us to be more efficient with some of our decisions, a little bit more strategic, and again, that's a good thing, that's what makes my job fun," he added.