In an interview with the Seattle Times, Hanuauer addressed the issue:
“Every time I talk to you it’s like a 95-, 97-, 99-percent there. But you guys know I’m there that way because even when we’ve got a player’s contract signed, if the player isn’t actually on the field training, I won’t say it’s 100 percent. We’re somewhere between 95 and 99 percent heading toward a USL PRO team here (at Starfire), certainly to begin with. We’ll remain open to other opportunities, whether that means in the near vicinity to Starfire and Seattle or areas outside of the close geographic vicinity — Spokane or Boise or Bellingham or Everett or Tacoma. We’re open to those opportunities, but it would require finding a good partner and a good facility.”
Starfire, of course, refers to Starfire Sports Stadium, the team’s practice facility where the Sounders play most of their US Open Cup matches. What’s intriguing, however, is the possibility of playing outside the team’s current home. When Hanuauer talk about Spokane, Boise, Bellingham, Everett and Tacoma, we’re pretty sure he’s talking about min0r-league baseball parks in most of those cities, though playing at the Boise State University stadium is more likely than the Boise Hawks home.
And what’s even more exciting: the Sounders would become the next MLS squad to embrace the notion of a farm team. This is an important step in the evolution of the sport in America.