Sounders give Neagle his due — sign Federal Way native to extension

Lamar Neagle has bounced around the MLS the last five seasons, but for the first time since becoming a pro — he’ll have back-to-back campaigns in one place.

The professional soccer career of Lamar Neagle has always been based out of Seattle and with his home-town Seattle Sounders FC. But not until today has the club let the feisty forward know how much they appreciate him in a financial sense.

After joining the club in 2009 as an un-drafted free agent, Neagle was shipped off to USL side Charlston the following season. After a five-match stint in Finland, Neagle was once returned home to Seattle where he scored five goals in 23 appearances — including a memorable hat trick against Columbus playing from the left wing. Then another trade, this time to the Montreal Impact coupled with Mike Fucito in exchange for Eddie Johnson. It was a turbulent year north of the border for Neagle who only scored twice in 23 appearances.

But as the story has been written, Neagle ventured home again at the start of this season — the best of his professional career. Playing mostly up top as a forward for an injured Obafemi Martins or a national team call-up replacement for EJ, Neagle found the back of the net eight times in 2013 — all of which came as a forward.

For his tireless work rate, endless hustle and ability to step into the forward role when needed — Neagle has been rewarded by the club with a shiny new contract extension — the details of which aren’t known due to league and club policy.

Moving into 2014 the biggest question surrounding Lamar Neagle won’t be his contract status or where he sits as a fan favorite — but instead it will be where he fits on this team. There is the potential for him to outplay new forward Kenny Cooper and lock up the starting forward spot next to Martins. Or Neagle could once again be put into a rotational/fill-in role with the occasional start at left midfield — a position he didm;t score a goal or tally an assist from last season.

However it works out on the field for Neagle, you can’t argue that a player of his quality deserves a pay raise and to be secured in knowing his foreseeable future is clad in Rave Green.