As we all know, the Sounders have been on a great run as of late. Part of that success has been due to Federal Way's own Lamar Neagle, most notably for his famous hat trick against Columbus. However, he is "stuck" on the depth chart behind two excellent outside midfielders in Alvaro Fernandez and Mauro Rosales. In fact, most of our midfield and forward play is very good, with the exception of one position. And it happens to be a position Neagle can play quite well.
I'm talking, of course, about the position of target forward. The Sounders have gone through the Roger Levesque experiment, the Nate Jaqua experiment, the Pat Noonan experiment, and, most successfully, the Mike Fucito experiment. And although Fucito is good, he isn't something special right now. And he certainly is not great playing as the furthest guy up.
Lamar Neagle is just an inch shorter than Levesque and Noonan, which means he is physically better suited to play the position than Fucito is. Unlike Jaqua, Neagle is not someone who can score only when the ball is put at his feet (and Jaqua only scores sometimes when that happens). Unlike Fucito, he has an aerial presence. Unlike Levesque, he has played as a true forward. And unlike Noonan...well, Neagle is just better than Noonan.
To find that Neagle is capable as a forward, we must look back just a single season. The 2010 USL Second Division Most Valuable Player was employed as a forward, putting up a prolific 13 goals in just 20 appearances. Granted, the defenses he faced were probably not very good, but those players were no worse than those surrounding him. This leads me to believe that Neagle was very good at creating something out of nothing, doing all the work if he must. With that said, he seems, to me at least, to be a good fit in our attack. We have plenty of guys who can score goals, and Neagle's work rate seems prime to excel at forward.
Lastly, Neagle has played well, and scored, when he has had opportunities. He won't have many opportunities anywhere else, so the team might as well give him a shot up front.