The Seattle Sounders announced the return of some familiar faces as part of the club's ownership group on Monday. Tod Leiweke, who was the team's CEO during their hugely successful debut in MLS a little over a decade ago, is once again part of the club, joining the ownership group alongside wife Tara.
Tod Leiweke, who also led the Seattle Seahawks from 2002-2010, is currently president and CEO of new NHL expansion side Seattle Kraken.
“It is a proud day for Sounders FC, as we officially welcome the Leiweke family as partners in our club’s future,” said Sounders Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer in a team release. “When Tod and Tara returned to Seattle two years ago to lead the Kraken, I was thrilled on a professional level to have Tod back in the Seattle sports scene, but also, more personally, to welcome back some of the finest, most caring and genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
"Given Tod’s history with the club, I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic when the Leiwekes expressed interest in reinvolving themselves with Sounders FC on a deeper level. Their ownership stake was finalized earlier this year, though we chose at the time to delay the official announcement due to the gravity of the issues being faced throughout the world. While these issues certainly remain, as a club we felt it was time to share the news.”
The Leiwekes are just the latest family to join the Sounders' ownership group. Last summer the club announced the addition of 11 families, including husband-and-wife duos Ciara and Russell Wilson and Macklemore and Tricia Davis.
“As a family, we have been privileged to enjoy an incredible journey through the professional sports world, but anyone that knows us understands that Seattle is home, and our fondness for Sounders FC runs deep,” said Tod and Tara Leiweke. “Our friendship with Adrian dates back to a time when the idea of launching Sounders FC in Major League Soccer was just beginning. The launch of the club was a truly special moment in our lives, and seeing the organization thrive from the very beginning is something we take a lot of pride in. In our time away from Seattle, we always followed this great club, and to be able to return to it now is significant for us.”
The Sounders are the current MLS Cup champions and have made the playoffs every year since entering the league in 2009.