Lamar Neagle is coming home, again. The Seattle Sounders have acquired the Federal Way product in a trade with D.C. United on Monday. It’s the fourth time the Sounders have either signed or traded for Neagle, who has spent five of his eight MLS seasons in Seattle. This time, the Sounders will give up a fourth-round pick in the 2018 SuperDraft.
“Lamar has been a very good player for us in the past and has contributed a lot to this club, on and off the field,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a team release. “On top of that, he is a great character guy with a longstanding connection to this community. We're very pleased to bring him home.”
The 30-year-old is believed to be in the final year of the contract he signed before the 2015 season that pays him about $200,000 a year. At the time, he was coming off back-to-back successful seasons, in which he scored a total of 17 goals with 13 assists.
After slumping to four goals and two assists the following season, Neagle was traded to D.C. United in exchange for Allocation Money. Although he responded with a near-career year in 2016 (nine goals and six assists), Neagle has only scored a single goal and been relegated to mostly appearances off the bench this season. His role was likely going to be even more diminished as United have undergone a rather dramatic roster remake this transfer window.
“We are very pleased to welcome Lamar back to Seattle as we hit the home-stretch of the 2017 season,” Sounders General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “He’s a good, veteran player with an extensive history with our club, and he gives us another solid option in the attack going forward.”
While it’s unlikely that Neagle regains the form that has seen him register a goal or an assist basically every other game over his MLS career (.48 g+a per 90), he’s a versatile veteran who’s as familiar with the organization as about anyone else in the league. He’s also fourth on the Sounders’ all-time scoring list with 26 goals. Chances are that he’ll fill a role similar to the one Herculez Gomez occupied last season.