The Seattle Sounders FC has acquired midfielder Lamar Neagle from the Montreal Impact in exchange for an international roster spot through the end of the 2014 season, the club announced today.
A Federal Way native, Neagle, 25, is joining Sounders FC for the third time following successful stints with the club in 2009 and 2011. Neagle spent the 2012 MLS season with the expansion Montreal Impact after he was traded by Seattle along with Mike Fucito to Montreal in exchange for forward Eddie Johnson. Neagle scored two goals with two assists in 23 appearances last season.
"We are very excited about bringing Lamar back to Seattle," said Sporting Director Chris Henderson. "He is an attacking midfielder who plays smart and adds versatility to our club. Lamar scored a few key goals for us in the past while being a very consistent player. He is a great teammate and positive presence in the locker room." Neagle initially joined Sounders FC on June 10, 2009, before earning Golden Boot and MVP honors in USL-2 for the Charleston Battery in 2010. Following the 2010 season, Neagle was signed by Finland's IFK Mariehamn, where he played in five leagues matches, scoring two goals. He then signed with Seattle as a free agent on March 2, 2011, and scored a career-high five goals with two assists in 23 appearances. During the 2011 MLS season, Neagle became the second player in club history to net a hat trick. Neagle was a three-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first team selection while at UNLV. He earlier played for Federal Way's Thomas Jefferson High School.
"It's amazing to come home and rejoin the Sounders," said Neagle. "The fans have had so much support for me throughout my career and Sigi was the first coach to give me a chance. It'll be fun for me to connect back with the guys and get to work. I'm looking forward to having a strong season."
Sounders FC opens the 2013 MLS season on March 2 by hosting the Montreal Impact on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Here is some reaction from Neagle, also provided by the club: (On rejoining Sounders FC…) “It’s amazing. It’s going to be nice to be able to see my family and be around my little sisters and everything like that. It’s definitely a perk of being back in Seattle. The past few years have been crazy. It gets tiring after a while traveling so much and moving and switching teams. I’ve only been a pro for four years and I think this is like the sixth time I’ve been on a new team. It’s pretty crazy but hopefully I can settle down in one city and there’s no better city for me to do it than Seattle.” (On what he’s looking forward to…) “I know the fans are going to enjoy it. They had so much support for me when I left originally and I was always getting messages from fans throughout the time I have been gone. It’s going to be good to hear from them again. I know my family is going to be ecstatic. I can’t imagine what my mom and my grandma are going to say when they find out. And the teammates. I know a lot of guys have changed. In the offseason I came back and I connected with a few of the guys so it’ll be a good homecoming.” (On his skill set…) “I have grown a lot [since 2011]. Even though it’s a couple of years my career isn’t that long so a couple of years changes a person a lot. I’m more of one of the middle-aged, older guys now so a lot of younger guys I try to look out for because I know what it was like coming into the league not knowing what was going on, especially for me moving around a lot and being away from home every now and then. So I think a little leadership is what I’m bringing, as well. And a better player. I know it’s been a couple years but I think instead of running around so much like I usually did I’m a lot smarter player. I can bring that, as well. And learn from the guys. Seattle has some great outside mids that I can definitely learn from.” (On Sigi Schmid and the Sounders FC organization…) “I didn’t go into the draft or the combine or anything like that so Sigi was the first one to give me a chance. He obviously likes me. I keep on coming back. Chris Henderson has been great. He has always looked out for me both on and off the field, a very good guy. And Adrian [Hanauer] is the same way. The organization is one of the best, if not the best in MLS. It will be nice coming back to that and reconnecting with those people.” (On his schedule to join team…) “I’m trying to meet the Sounders in Arizona. I have everything in Montreal so I have quite a bit of stuff to take care of before I leave. Hopefully I can be there on Tuesday with the team.”