Farewell Statement

As a kid in Federal Way I grew up rooting for all the local teams. The Seahawks, the Mariners and my Dad even had season tickets to the Sonics. I had the opportunity to be a ballboy for the Sounders at Memorial Stadium, something I will never forget. Playing professionally for your home team is something most people never get to do, it’s very special.  I have had the amazing opportunity to live out every kids dream!

I want to thank the Seattle Sounders fans for their unwavering support; you guys have made it easy to play for this club, both on and off the field. The continuous positivity from the fans through the ups and downs is what kept me striving forward.

I  also want to thank my teammates. It has been an honor and privilege playing alongside you all.

The Sounders organization is one of the best in the league. I have grown close to many people over the years and I am grateful for their friendship. Their commitment to supporting the community helped drive me to do the same. 

I want to thank Adrian Hanauer for his support of Neagle Foundation and the rest of the Sounders organization for making it easy to become a positive influence. 

Taylor Graham and Roger Levesque. You guys lead the way for me to become a positive advocate for my community.  Thank you.

The support for my foundation has been astounding.  Thank you to everyone who has helped me with Neagle Foundation. Your time, commitment and compassion has meant the world to me. I would like to send a special thanks to the team at Sonarfeed for their annual FIFA tournament. The Neagle Foundation wouldn’t be what it is today without you guys. 

I can’t thank my manager Rich Martin enough.  He has been with me from the start and I appreciate everything he has done to help support me and the foundation.

I want to thank my family; I wouldn’t be in this position without them. Although I know they are sad that I am leaving, they are equally as excited for me to be heading into a great opportunity, a move that they know is the best for my career. A special thank you to my wife, I know it can’t be easy to be uprooted from her family, friends and a job she loves but she is as excited as I am for this new adventure in our Nation’s capital!

I would have never imagined living in our nation’s capital. DC United has such a rich history, winning championships from the emergence of the league. I can’t wait to see what I can help add to that history. I want to thank DC United for their faith in me and hope I can continue to grow as a community advocate. I will continue to live my dream in DC.  

Thank you Seattle, DC here I come!


Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle up for MLS Goal of the Week after stunners versus Colorado


Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle up for MLS Goal of the Week after stunners versus Colorado

Shane Evans

You may not have noticed, but Sounders FC often scores very nice goals. Lots of them. Lots and lots and lots of them. This weekend in Colorado, the Rave Green took a 3-1 result from the Rapids. Two of the goals scored? Absolute worldys. For those not familiar with the term, please see here. First up on the spectacular tally scoring chart, one Lamar Neagle of Federal Way. Have a look at this peach:

Talk about hitting your spots, am I right? Look at that beautiful curling effort. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better goal in an MLS weekend than this, but Obafemi Martins had to go out there and try and one-up his good buddy Lamar with this second-half effort that had me question whether I actually saw what I think I just saw. It was that good. Observe:


Come on, Oba. It's just not fair anymore. You just schooled TWO veteran MLS defenders with that move. Poor guys. They may recover from the shock. Anyway, both goals are up for MLS Goal of the Week (as you would expect) and need your votes. Thing is, you can't just vote for one of them...so you'll have to vote twice for both. Or 29 times for both. Either way, picking Lamar over Oba or vice versa is like trying to say which of your children you love more. It shouldn't be allowed.

Head over to the old MLSsoccer.com and get your ballots in now. Not that either need it because did you see the above? Best part is we have another 28 matches where things like this will surely happen again. We are very lucky.



Lamar Neagle breaks out with brace as Seattle Sounders leave Colorado with needed win

Ari Liljenwall | MLSSOCCER.COM

It was only a matter of time for Lamar Neagle.

Coming into Saturday night’s road matchup with the Colorado Rapids, the Sounders midfielder had yet to crack the scoresheet in 2015 after scoring a career-high nine goals for Seattle a season ago.

But the big breakthrough the Sounders and head coach Sigi Schmid had been waiting for finally materialized on Saturday, as Neagle netted twice in the first 25 minutes en-route to leading Seattle to a 3-1 triumph at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

“Just getting back into my momentum,” Neagle said after the game. “I feel like I was making shots like that last year. So just trying to find that same momentum and build off of it.”

Neagle’s first goal, a curling strike from just inside the penalty box that he rifled by Rapids ‘keeper Clint Irwin, marked the first goal of the season for Seattle not scored by star forwardsClint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. The 28-year-old started the game back in the midfield after filling in at forward last week for an injured Dempsey.

“It was good for [Neagle],” Schmid said. “He can score goals from the wing, he doesn’t have to be up front. I thought he had an uptick game last week up front and he was able to transfer that onto the wing. You can be goal-dangerous from there as well.”

In addition to the big performance from Neagle, the Sounders also benefitted from one of the highlights of the MLS season thus far courtesy of Martins. The Nigerian tallied the dagger in the 73rd minute after setting himself up with a dazzling first touch off a long pass from Andy Rosethat shed two Rapids defenders.

“I can’t even remember what I did,” Martins said. “Rose gave me a good ball and I was thinking to control the ball facing our goal but I just decided to do something different.”

Defensively, the Sounders had a relatively uneven first half, conceding a 22nd-minute equalizer to Rapids forward Gabriel Torres and sustaining a great deal of pressure from the home side. But the backline seemed to settle down in the second half, forcing Colorado into several shots from distance that were handled easily by goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

“I think they came out and started well,” Seattle center back Chad Marshall said. “From the very get-go they were throwing numbers forward and they interchange very well and I think it was confusing for us at times. We weathered it somehow and got to the second half, played much better and got out of here with the win.”

Seattle (3-2-1) returns home next Sunday for a Cascadia Cup clash with the Portland Timbers.


Lamar helps the Sounders launch Ninety retai


Lamar helps the Sounders launch Ninety retai

by Justin Lester, SoundersFC.com

On and off the pitch, Seattle Sounders FC is constantly growing as an organization.

The latest example of that arose last Thursday night, when the club held an event at its headquarters in Pioneer Square to unveil new jerseys and a new space, The NINETY. Situated on the ground floor of the Washington Shoe Building, the space is designed to serve a variety of purposes for the club and its supporters.

Construction of The NINETY occurred throughout the last few months, and the end product was a pleasant site to see for those in attendance Thursday. To new General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey, it was well worth the wait.

“Incredible. Really cool,” Lagerwey said of the space. “Incorporating different parts of everything, I can tell the thought and the care that has gone into this, just like most of the things associated with the Sounders organization. Really cool.”

Sounders FC is less than a year removed from moving its front office to Pioneer Square from the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton. Now the club can really plant its flag in the neighborhood by CenturyLink Field, the main reason for creating The NINETY.

The downtown location isn’t the only aspect that makes it a spectacular space, though.

This 3,700-square-foot cultural hub of soccer features a 25-foot custom trophy case that showcases the club’s history and 18-foot graphic paintings of “Seattle Sounders” on each wall. The element that stands out the most is a 2,000-pound, green and blue icicle chandelier that hangs above a 30-foot boardroom table. Seattle’s own Dale Chihuly sculpted the massive icicle.

Sounders midfielder Lamar Neagle was among the four players at Thursday’s grand opening. The Seattle-area native was astonished by the look of The NINETY.

“I think it’s probably one of the only organizations in MLS in which people believe it would be a successful thing to do,” Neagle said. “The location they got is amazing. …It’s a great opportunity for the organization to grow and to have a face in downtown Seattle.”

The organization’s aim is to use The NINETY as a gathering place for fans and as a way to further engage them with the club. The space will be open before every home match, and it is also available for anyone to rent on select weeknights and weekends.

When asked by media about the things his club can do with The NINETY, owner Adrian Hanauer couldn’t help but grin and start listing off endless types of events. Autograph sessions, radio shows and viewing parties for away games are just a few of those that came to his mind.

“There’s so many amazing things we can do with this space,” Hanauer said. “That’s really exciting to envision. …The team did an amazing job to come up with the vision."

The NINETY will be open this Saturday, March 14, starting at 4:30 p.m. ahead of the match against the San Jose Earthquakes, and is located at 406 Occidental Ave S. along the March to the Match route.



Seattle Sounders winger Lamar Neagle confirms interest from Irish national team

Gareth Maher and Ari Liljenwall, MLSsoccer.com

DUBLIN, Ireland – Irish eyes could soon be smiling for Lamar Neagle, if reported interest from the Republic of Ireland national team comes to fruition.

It is believed that the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is monitoring the Seattle Sounders' attacker after they were made aware that the 27-year-old possesses an Irish passport through his mother, Bridget.

Neagle confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Friday that he did talk to an Irish scout on one occasion and that the connection stems from his grandmother.

“My grandma is from Ireland, and so when I was in college I wasn’t going to the combines, I wasn’t recruited, so [playing in Ireland] was an option,” Neagle said. “My mom filed for her Irish passport and she filed for me to get mine.”

Sources close to the FAI revealed that they are actively scouting the United States – and MLS in particular – for players eligible to play for Ireland, and Neagle is high on their list along with Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill.

Neagle said that he has yet to hear anything from the FAI since he talked to the scout but would be intrigued by the opportunity if it does ultimately present itself.

“If they do [give me the opportunity], that’s cool,” Neagle said. “That’s awesome. I’d love for the opportunity. ... It’d be a credit to the consistent progress that I’ve had over the years. A little late for a guy to be getting his first shot at any national team, but it’s definitely flattering to hear.”

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill admitted last Sunday that he has spent the last few months searching for potential new recruits on the back of capping three English-born players in Rob Elliot, Cyrus Christie, and David McGoldrick.

Neagle, therefore, is a player who would certainly interest O’Neill – who is fond of powerful wingers that can work up and down the flanks – but any call-up is unlikely to come until after next month’s UEFA European Championship qualifier.

Neagle, who scored nine goals and tallied nine assists in 32 games for Seattle last season, said the chance to play on the elevated stage that comes with the international level has the potential to make his MLS game even sharper.

“Experience in any other league is going to transfer over,” Neagle said. “Experience anywhere, getting games, training and traveling. That’s why we play this game, to play as many games as possible.”

The Ireland boss is likely to stick with his current squad next against Poland, although he may turn to Neagle and Rapids youngster O’Neill – who was born in County Cork – for future friendly games with the England clash on June 7 likely to be used to experiment with new players.

While Neagle suggested on social media that he is open to playing for Ireland, it might prove trickier in drafting O’Neill into the Irish set-up considering he is getting looks of late from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US national team.

The former US Under-20 captain was an unused substitute in the recent 3-2 friendly loss to Chile.

O’Neill previously stated that he has to “see what the best options are for me” regarding his long-term international future.

While the FAI will be keen to avoid a tug-of-war with U.S. Soccer over O’Neill, they remain on the hunt for new talent. And that is why Neagle is the latest name to pop up on their radar following extensive scouting of MLS over the last number of years.

From former Rapids left back Danny Earls to current NYCFC goalkeeper Ryan Meara, the FAI has kept a keen eye on MLS players who are eligible to represent Ireland and they have several scouts based across North America.

Even Ireland captain and reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane got in on the act of recruitment when he mentioned his former LA Galaxy teammate Mike Magee as someone who the FAI should look at, though nothing came from it.

But if the interest in Neagle does materialize, then Keane may soon have some company on those transatlantic flights back to Dublin when reporting for international duty.



Neagle back in form after recording a trio of goals and assists in five matches

By Matt Gaschk of SoundersFC.com

Lamar Neagle didn’t need to read social media or poll the fans to know that he was slumping earlier this year. Now on another hot streak, he is having the best season of his MLS career and still has four matches to add to his totals. Having been through a mid-season drought, the applause felt a little louder on Saturday when he finished with one goal and one assist in a 4-2 comeback win over Chivas USA.

After matching his career-best scoring total and doubling his best assist number, it’s starting to feel like progress again for Neagle.

“Going through that slump wasn’t the best, but overall, yeah,” he said when asked if this is his best year in Seattle. “And hopefully it will get better. I hope every year I grow and develop as a player and hopefully I can keep doing that.”

After a torrid start that saw him net five goals and four assists in his first 14 matches, he was pacing toward a career-best season when he suddenly fell into a nine-match slump without scoring a goal.

Now with three goals and three assists in five matches in September, he is back on track and helping the Sounders FC offense get back into its groove as the postseason rapidly approaches. With eight goals and eight assists, it’s been a career year for Neagle, but Head Coach Sigi Schmid noted on Saturday that his improvement shows in ways well beyond the score sheet.

READ: With brace against Chivas, Martins sets Sounders single-season scoring record

“I think he is paying attention to the little things. By the little things I think he is working hard off the ball, he is defending better, and that allows him to be in position when we recover the ball to get after them because they are forgetting about him because he is all of a sudden coming from a little deeper, and then he gets forward,” Schmid said. “His runs are coming from deeper and so it is hard for them to pick him up. When he has gotten around the goal he has done well. He finished his goal well today and the better play he did was not touching the ball on the fourth goal—he was aware to not touch it.”

Neagle is catching his rhythm and the timing could not be better for Seattle. And he isn’t alone. In addition to Neagle’s five-match point streak, Clint Dempsey has seven matches with at least a goal or an assist and Obafemi Martins has three braces in the last seven matches. While Martins surpassed Sounders FC’s single-season scoring mark on Saturday, Neagle’s return to form may be just as vital to Seattle’s success down the stretch.

“I went through a streak where I didn’t have any goals or assist and now I have a few, so it’s nice leading into playoffs to start to get on a roll,” Neagle said. “Hopefully we do it as a team.”

Sounders FC meets the Colorado Rapids on Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.