It looks like Lamar Neagle will finally have some sense of stability in his life now that the Federal Way-native has agreed to a contract extension, the Seattle Sounders announced on Monday. Up until now, Neagle has been playing for the league minimum and had never spent two consecutive seasons on the same team. This, at least presumably, will change that.
"Lamar has a tremendous work capacity and has proven to be a threat in our attack," Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson said in a team release. "Lamar has grown up here in the Pacific Northwest and is a hometown favorite. He is a leader in our community and a great teammate."
That the Sounders agreed to give Neagle a bit of stability should not come as a huge shock. The 26-year-old is coming off a season in which he scored a career-high eight goals and added four assists. At one point, Neagle scored in three consecutive games and had another three-goal outburst in an earlier two-game stretch.
The only problem with Neagle's 2013 was that all of his production came while he was playing forward, a position where he was largely seen as a backup. In eight starts at left midfield, Neagle did not score a goal or have an assist, contributing to him finishing the regular season with an eight-game goal-less drought.
The end-of-season drought aside, this has to be seen as a breakout year for Neagle as he more than doubled his career scoring output. Only a year earlier, he had just two goals and two assists with the Montreal Impact, allowing the Sounders give up only an international roster spot to acquire him for a third time. As recently as 2011, he was among the final players to earn a roster spot with the Sounders following a successful stint with the Charleston Battery. His first stint with the Sounders came in 2009 when he made the inaugural roster as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV, but he never suited up that year.