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SOCCER: Neagle named Sounders FC Humanitarian of the Year
Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle is having a huge year on the field for Seattle Sounders FC. The forward is second on the team with eight goals and had led the Sounders into the upcoming Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs.
But Neagle might be having an even better season off the field. The team announced Friday that Neagle has been selected as the 2013 Sounders FC Humanitarian of the Year in recognition of his commitment to community service. Neagle made more than 25 appearances in the community this season and started his own charitable program, The Neagle Foundation.
Neagle, 26, was named the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month for August. The award recognized Neagle’s involvement in the community, including work with America SCORES and the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.
His work with America SCORES Seattle included attending meetings, donating soccer clinics and helping to raise awareness for their 60-60-60 campaign. He also set up a meeting with SCORES and Russell Investment Group representatives on his own.
A member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County as a youth, Neagle has returned the service, appearing at the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club, as well as the annual breakfast. In starting The Neagle Foundation, he established a program to provide support to youth through athletics and academics while building stronger families and communities throughout the Seattle area.
As a first-grader, Neagle began his soccer career playing for the Federal Way Boys and Girls Club. And while a lot of his not-as-talented friends moved onto select soccer teams, Neagle remained with the Boys and Girls Club for years.
“I remember I asked my mom if I could play for the club teams and she told me that we didn’t have the money to do it,” Neagle said at the time he started his foundation. “So I ended up going to the Boys and Girls Club and playing soccer, baseball and basketball. It was a place for me and my brother to go when my mom was working.”
Neagle has also participated in events at Thomas Jefferson and spent time with service men and women at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Among other activities that he has participated in this season included the United Way of King County All-Star Softball Classic for homeless youth and the Sounders FC International Family Festival.
This is the first time Neagle has earned the club honors. Forward David Estrada won the award in 2012, defender James Riley earned the honors in 2010 and 2011, and defender Taylor Graham was named the club’s first Humanitarian of the Year in 2009.
By winning the award for the Sounders, Neagle is now eligible for the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year.
This is Neagle's third stint with the Sounders in the team's five-year history.
After TJ, Neagle played at UNLV before inking with the Sounders as an undrafted free agent in June of 2009. But he didn’t stick with the team in training camp the following year and instead played with the Charleston Battery in the USL second division. There, he earned Most Valuable Player honors with 12 goals in 19 matches, leading the Battery to the USL-2 title.
He went from there to Finland, where he played five matches with Mariehamn, netting two goals before a return invite to join the Sounders in training camp brought him back to Seattle.
In his second stint with Seattle, he enjoyed a breakout season, finishing with six goals and two assists in 24 matches. Neagle opened camp again with the Sounders in 2012, but was traded along with Mike Fucito to the Montreal Impact for Eddie Johnson.
In Montreal, Neagle finished with two goals and two assists before being traded back to Seattle during the 2013 offseason for an international roster slot.