Sports

MLS Soccer: Lamar Neagle’s goal ranks as one of week's best

Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle
Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle's goal on Saturday during a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. Neagle is a midfielder for the Montreal Impact and was nominated for the AT&T Goal of the Week.
— image credit: Courtesy Montreal Impact

Lamar Neagle is starting to make the impact the Montreal Impact thought he was going to make when they traded for him during the offseason.

The Thomas Jefferson graduate was the key component during a trade last summer between the Impact and Seattle Sounders FC that sent Neagle to Montreal and all-star forward Eddie Johnson to the Sounders.

Last Saturday, Neagle tallied his second goal of the season during a 3-1 Montreal win over the San Jose Earthquake. The goal was good enough to be nominated for the Major League Soccer (MLS) AT&T Goal of the Week award.

With both teams down to 10 men, the 25-year-old Neagle was asked to move to the right flank. While he had not played the majority of a game in that role in almost a year, his right-midfield reflexes came back to him straight away.

“I’m right-footed, so I grew up kind of playing on the right,” Neagle told Montreal reporters on Tuesday. “I kind of switched late. Either side, I’m pretty comfortable. Being on the right is fine with me as well.”

As his cracking goal hit the back of the net behind San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch, Neagle immediately turned to a visibly thrilled Patrice Bernier, who buried his teammate’s face in his shoulder not once, but twice.

“This is a guy who hasn’t played a lot of minutes lately, yet he steps up and scores,” Bernier said. “He comes in and even though he’s been on the bench, he responds that way. He’s showing the coach that he’s there to play, and I’m happy for those guys, because you can see the work they put in at training.”

Neagle has played in 19 games for the Impact this season, starting nine. The start against San Jose on Saturday was Neagle’s first since July 21. He had played just three minutes in Montreal’s previous three matches.

Neagle’s other goal this season came on June 16 during a 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders FC, his former club.

Montreal currently sits 11-13-3 in the MLS’s Eastern Conference, just four points behind D.C. United for the fifth and final berth into the playoffs.

It’s the third week in a row that a Montreal player has been nominated for the MLS Goal of the Week.

“It’s good, and it’s a credit to our streak as well as to what we’ve been doing,” Neagle said of the nomination. “We just happen to score some good goals.

Kelyn Rowe — The Federal Way High School graduate is having a solid rookie season for the New England Revolution. The midfielder is second on the team with three assists and third on the Revs with two goals.

Rowe has played in 20 games and started 13 for New England. His first goal came during 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy on March 31 and against Chicago during a 2-0 win on June 22.

New England currently sits ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 6-13-5 record. The top-five advance to the MLS Playoffs.

The Revolution took Rowe with the third overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft following his sophomore season at UCLA. Rowe was the Pac-12 Player of the Year after leading the conference in assists with 10 last fall. Rowe also tallied six goals and led UCLA to the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup.

This offseason, Rowe made his camp debut with the United States under-23 National Team after earning six caps on the U-20 squad. He finished his UCLA career with 13 goals, 20 assists and 46 points in 46 games.

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