Hinton Answers Call To Coach Soccer Again -- Sounder President Appoints Himself
As non-surprises go, it ranks up there with hydroplanes conking out and Husky baseball rainouts.
Alan Hinton, president of the reborn Seattle Sounders, announced yesterday he also will coach the team.
"I couldn't resist coaching again," said Hinton, 51, who coached the Sounders of the North American Soccer League from 1980-82. This time, the Sounders are expansion members of the 10-team American Professional Soccer League.
Hinton, who never missed the playoffs in nine years of pro coaching, hasn't coached professionally since his second stint with the Tacoma Stars of the Major Indoor Soccer League ended in 1989.
Hinton has been coaching a Kirkland boys' team the past five years, starting when the boys on the squad were ages 11-12.
The Kirkland youth team played a role in Hinton's return to the pros. Hinton said C. Neil Farnsworth, a Microsoft executive and parent of a boy on the team, offered to be a financial backer if he wanted to try to resurrect pro soccer in Seattle. Such a move had been on Hinton's mind when he purchased the Sounder name about four years ago. Yesterday, he named himself the coach.
Farnsworth is on the four-member Sounder board chaired by Scott Oki, who owns a development company. The other board members are William Hurme, soccer enthusiast and marketing consultant, and Hinton.
The Sounders, a Division II team, might have company on the local soccer scene from a Division I team next year. A rival group is conducting a drive to try to secure 10,000 ticket deposits by mid-May in a bid to try to get a franchise in Major League Soccer, a league planned by the United States Soccer Federation.
Linda Velie, ticket manager for Major League Soccer-Seattle, yesterday said about 550 deposits totaling more than $34,000 have been received for season tickets for 1995.
Hinton said yesterday the Sounders have sold more than 1,000 season tickets and soon will begin a ticket drive. Sounder season tickets are $145 for adults, $125 for teen-agers and $95 for children.
The Sounders will play 12 home games, including two preseason matches against yet-unannounced international opponents. Seven games will be at the Tacoma Dome, four at Memorial Stadium and one (against Vancouver) at the Kingdome. League play begins July 6 at Montreal.
The first home league game will be July 23 at the Tacoma Dome against defending champion Colorado.
The Sounders have pledged that any profits, or 2 percent of gate receipts, whichever is greater, will go to charitable and youth-soccer activities through a program called Sounders for Kids.
Hinton said he would start naming his staff of 4-6 assistant coaches next week. The team has signed three players - Jason and James Dunn who played at Seattle Pacific and Shannon Murray, who played at the UW and with defending APSL champion Colorado.
Sounders home schedule All games 7:35 p.m. May 28 - International opponent to be announced, Tacoma Dome; June 11 - International opponent to be announced, Tacoma Dome; July 23 - Colorado Foxes, Tacoma Dome; July 30 - Vancouver 86ers, Kingdome; Aug. 5 - Montreal Impact, Tacoma Dome; Aug. 20 - Colorado Foxes, Tacoma Dome; Aug. 26 - Houston Force, Tacoma Dome; Aug. 27 - L.A. Salsa, Tacoma Dome; Sept. 9 - Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Memorial Stadium; Sept. 17 - Toronto Rockets, Memorial Stadium; Sept. 20 - L.A. Salsa, Memorial Stadium; Sept. 24 - Vancouver 86ers, Memorial Stadium.
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