Lamar Neagle is on the move, again. The Federal Way product has been officially traded to D.C. United, it was announced on Monday. This is the third time the Seattle Sounders have parted ways with Neagle, who was cut after the 2009 season and traded before the start of the 2012 campaign.
The trade had been rumored for a couple weeks, after a chance encounter between Sounder at Heart reader Mike Standish and someone claiming to be Neagle's father-in-law. Other media confirmed the report in the coming days and weeks. But with today's unfreezing of MLS rosters, the trade was finally made official.
In return for a player who has scored 29 goals across all-competitions over the past three seasons, the Sounders will receive a combination of regular and Targeted Allocation Money. Although the exact amount was not disclosed, MLS rules prohibit teams from trading less than $75,000. Almost as important as the allocation money itself is the salary-cap flexibility the Sounders gain by freeing up Neagle's salary. The 28-year-old made nearly $170,000 in guaranteed compensation last year (according to MLS Players Union data) and was likely due a raise after signing a new three-year extension.
"We want to wish Lamar every success with D.C. United as he takes the next step in his career," Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a team release. "Lamar has been a dedicated member of our team and an active participant in our community, making a difference throughout the Puget Sound region with his philanthropic work. As we move into the offseason these types of challenging personnel decisions are required, and the resources we are receiving in today's trade give us further flexibility to enhance our roster for 2016."
Neagle had also seemingly fallen out of favor with the Sounders. Despite making 36 appearances in all competitions, Neagle's last appearance for the Sounders came on Oct. 4 and he didn't even make the gameday roster for the three playoff games.
As much sense as moving Neagle may make from a pragmatic point of view, losing another local connection will still be painful. Aside from being one of the more productive outside midfielders in the league over the past three seasons, Neagle has been a visible part of the Sounders' community building efforts and even started a local charity a couple years ago.