TUKWILA, Wash. – Following Tuesday night’s chaotic ending in their 3-1 US Open Cup loss to the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders minority owner Adrian Hanauer and head coach Sigi Schmid each addressed the media at Thursday’s training session at Starfire Sports Complex.
The game was marked by a wild conclusion that saw three Sounders ejected, angry fans throwing debris onto the field and a group of police officers offering the referees a protective escort off the field following the final whistle.
“I just wanted to address Tuesday evening. I know there’s been a lot of chatter about it on the interwebs,” Hanauer said. “Right below our logo, there are three words that say passion, courage and community. We believe that we embody those three words and that everything we do is a positive reflection on them. Tuesday evening, the passion piece maybe went a little bit overboard.”
Hanauer said the emotional reactions from Schmid, Sounders players and the fans was a result of frustration and passion in the heat of the moment, and that his hope is for Seattle players and fans to keep cooler heads in the future, regardless of whatever disagreements may occur with referees.
“I thought it was important to acknowledge that it wasn’t our proudest moment as the Sounders organization,” Hanauer said. “We’re going to do better because we know that people are looking at the Sounders as the bellwether franchise in North America, and we always need to be at the top of our game.”
Schmid, who was so exasperated with the referees that he actually left the Seattle sideline and watched the waning moments of the contest from the far corner of the field, also said he will try to keep his emotions in check to a greater degree going forward.
“I’m not happy with my behavior, walking away towards the end of the game,” Schmid said. “No matter what goes on on the field, I have to be better about that. I appreciated our fan support but, as fans, we’ve got to support our team. We can’t go overboard and throw things on the field.”
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Hanauer also addressed the status of star forward and US national team captain Clint Dempsey, who earned his ejection in particularly notable fashion after taking the referee’s notebook and tearing it up before leaving the field.
Dempsey, who is expected to lead the USMNT in the CONCACAF Gold Cup starting next month, could be subject to discipline for the destruction of a referee’s property.
Hanauer said there hasn’t been any communication as of yet about sanctions for Dempsey, but that he expects there to be a decision before Seattle’s home matchup Saturday with the San Jose Earthquakes.
“We have not [heard about possible discipline for Dempsey],” Hanauer said. “We’ll deal with that as it comes. I would think communication would come relatively quickly.”