The Best-ever Launch of an American Professional Sports Franchise Chronicled in New Book, "Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece"

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The Unlikely and Inspiring Story of the Seattle Team's Entry into Major League Soccer

"Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece" book cover

(The story) demonstrates how powerful business people were able to check their egos and embrace their customers all for the sake of the fans, the city, and a soccer culture desperate to embrace a sports team that treated them with respect.

It sounds like the start of a great joke: A minor-league sports executive, one of the richest men in the world, a stand-up comedian, and a Hollywood movie producer conspire to start a soccer team. But what Adrian Hanauer, Paul Allen, Drew Carey, and Joe Roth did when they started the Seattle Sounders FC was no joke. They meticulously planned the launch of the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise with an eye toward some lofty goals. Then they stood back in amazement as they rocketed far beyond those goals buoyed by a team that ignored its “expansion” label and a fan base that wildly embraced them.

Through interviews with key executives, athletes and fans, author Mike Gastineau tells the story leading up to the launch of Sounders FC, the MLS expansion franchise whose seemingly overnight success has captured the attention of the Seattle sports community, sports and entertainment executives, soccer followers across the country and the national news media. In Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece, readers will learn:

  • How a money-losing soccer club rocketed from the ranks of the minor leagues to Major League Soccer drawing sell-outs and regularly topping 50,000 fans per match.
  • The unique relationships between the eclectic group of seasoned sports executives, Hollywood celebrities and bar room soccer fans who came together to build a sports culture that validated Major League Soccer in Seattle and across the country.
  • The personalities of the players and coaches who took different paths to the team and turned their diversity into a winning team starting on opening night.

“This is a story of sports, business, culture, timing, and luck,” said Gastineau. “It demonstrates how powerful business people were able to check their egos and embrace their customers all for the sake of the fans, the city, and a soccer culture desperate to embrace a sports team that treated them with respect.”

Gastineau communicates to readers the entire history of events that led to the Sounders FC launch beginning with the role soccer fans played in securing a professional football stadium for the Seattle Seahawks. Profiled in the book are the soccer fans, bar owners and a soccer subculture that existed in Seattle and was waiting to be acknowledged by mainstream professional sports leaders and media. The book also details how that soccer subculture directly impacted one of the biggest deals in MLS history, the signing of superstar Clint Dempsey in 2013.

“Combining his extensive list of contacts with his innate curiosity and natural interview skills, Gastineau has asked the right questions and told the tale of the team Seattle fell in love in with,” said Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated. “He explains how this team not only got off the ground but did so in a way that would become the benchmark for expansion teams in any sport, including soccer.”

About the Book:
270 pages
ISBN: 1491068345
ISBN 13: 9781491068342
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013913312
Published via CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Available via, Amazon, Kindle and local bookstores
Forward by Grant Wahl

About the Author:
Mike Gastineau has been a fixture in the Seattle sports broadcasting community since 1991. Until 2012 he anchored the afternoon drive time slot on KJR radio, talking with local sports fans, interviewing national newsmakers and pontificating about the relationships between fans, team owners, players and the guy with a beer next to you in the stands.

In December of 2012 he resigned from KJR to pursue other interests, including writing the book Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece. He is also a regular contributor to Pearl Jam Radio on Sirius XM channel 22. He does long form interviews with athletes, musicians, and other special guests. Gastineau’s previous books include The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists with Art Thiel and Steve Rudman (Running Press, 2009). He has been a contributor to The Seattle Times, Lindy’s College Football and The Grand Salami.

For interview request or additional information about Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece and author Mike Gastineau, please visit

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