Monday, January 28, 2013
SEATTLE — Before the 2012 season, Sounders FC surprisingly traded away fan favorite Lamar Neagle.
Eleven months later, the team — just as surprisingly — made a trade to bring him back.
Seattle reacquired Neagle, a Federal Way native, from the Montreal Impact on Sunday in exchange for an international roster slot through 2014. The 25-year-old midfielder was a part of the trade last February that brought forward Eddie Johnson to the Sounders.
Neagle, who hopes to join preseason camp in Arizona on Tuesday, called the homecoming “amazing.”
“I know the fans are going to enjoy it,” he said. “They had so much support for me when I left originally and I was always getting messages from fans throughout the time I have been gone. It’s going to be good to hear from them again.
“I know my family is going to be ecstatic. I can’t imagine what my mom and my grandma are going to say when they find out.”
Neagle scored five goals and had two assists for the Sounders in 2011, including a hat trick against Columbus. He added another goal in the Western Conference semifinals against Real Salt Lake.
Midfield might not be as pressing of a need as forward or central defender for Seattle, but Neagle’s experience and versatility add depth to the team.
“Lamar scored a few key goals for us in the past while being a very consistent player,” sporting director Chris Henderson said in a news release. “He is a great teammate and positive presence in the locker room.”
Neagle first signed with the Sounders in 2009 as a senior developmental player, but he didn’t play an MLS game and was waived after the season.
Seattle signed the Jefferson High School product again in 2011 following Neagle’s standout year with the lower-league Charleston Battery and brief stint with Finland’s IFK Mariehamn.
Last season, Neagle scored the final goal in Montreal’s 4-1 win over the Sounders.
“It’ll be fun for me to connect back with the guys and get to work,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having a strong season.”
The Sounders, as a result of the trade, will have seven international roster slots the next two years. Four are taken by midfielders Mario Martinez, Christian Tiffert and Andy Rose, and defender Adam Johansson.