Editor’s note: This interview is being made available to everyone. In the future, though, full versions of interviews like this one will usually only be available to paid subscribers. You can access those for as little as $19/year while also doing your part to make Sounder at Heart and independent soccer journalism sustainable.
Garth Lagerwey may have left Seattle, but about six months into his job it doesn’t appear as though Atlanta United has changed him all that much. When I caught up with him on Wednesday, he was almost as interested in talking about Sounder at Heart’s impending journey toward independence as I was in conducting our interview.
As usual, he was almost shockingly open about his personal life while speaking in very high-minded terms about Leagues Cup, what Lionel Messi means for MLS and the challenges he is still sorting through at Atlanta United. He also had some very encouraging things to say about Craig Waibel and the foundations of success that he believes remain in Seattle.
Here are some of the highlights of the conversation:
On how his new job as CEO and President of Atlanta United differs from his previous job with the Sounders: “Everything on the business side, managing budgets. In Seattle, I’d have to wait to see what resources were allocated to the soccer team, and here in the more strategic role, I’m able to say I want to allocate such and such efforts toward driving revenue and I’m going to direct the revenue into a, b and c on the soccer side. It’s still a shared enterprise, we share ticketing, and corporate partnerships, it’s not that simple but it’s being involved in that stuff. It’s a degree of insight and it was important to me that I keep learning. This was an opportunity for growth.”