Welcome home, Lamar Neagle. A little less than a calendar year after trading the Federal Way native to the Montreal Impact in the Eddie Johnson trade, the Sounders have reacquired Neagle in a trade with the Montreal Impact. The Sounders sent an international roster spot to the Impact through the 2014 season in the deal.
Neagle never really seemed to find a home in Montreal, despite being the centerpiece of the trade a year ago. Although he played in 23 matches, he started just 11 and didn't even play in three of the Impact's final five matches. After scoring his second goal of the season in a win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 18, Neagle only started two more of the final seven matches of the season.
"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."
How Neagle fits into this revamped Sounders team is still a bit of a question, though. The 25-year-old saw his best success as an outside midfielder, and the Sounders have added Mario Martinez and seen Steve Zakuani return to health since he last played here. Neagle's acquisition would potentially allow Steve Zakuani or Mario Martinez to move up to forward, without sacrificing any significant depth.
"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."
Whether or not Neagle has an automatic spot on this team, it undeniably makes the Sounders deeper and better prepares them to compete in multiple tournaments. In 2011, he was also among the best values in all of MLS and he still makes right around the league minimum. That year, he scored five goals and had a pair of assists. He also scored a playoff goal.
The Sounders said they expect Neagle to join them when they go to Arizona on Tuesday.