Lamar Neagle returned to his hometown Seattle Sounders this morning, going through limited work after his weekend trade from Montreal.
“We knew he hadn’t done much over the weekend, so we didn’t want to throw him into the games right away,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We just had him go through the warmups and then work … on the side. He’ll get full into it when we get into Casa Grande tomorrow.”
Neagle met with the media after practice and said he was happy to be back.
“My family’s definitely super-pumped,” he said. “I’m happy to be home. It’s just been kind of surreal. Getting on a plane a couple of days after you hear is definitely weird. I’m happy to be back and to get started in Arizona.
On his season in Montreal: Every year I think you develop, and it was a new experience. Montreal was a great city. I met a bunch of new friends that I’m going to know for the rest of my life. I got a nice Italy trip out of it. It was definitely a struggle at some points during the year, for playing time and for how we performed as a team. But I think that’s a learning experience, and I think that was good for me.
On how he has changed as a player since he left Seattle: Every year is a developing year. I learned a lot from the guys I played behind, like Davy Arnaud, Justin Mapp; those are older guys that have been in the league for years and years. I think I took a lot from them. Just watching them show leadership on and off the field I think helped me a lot.
On his family’s reaction: My mom thought I was lying. I always joke with her and mess with her. She was like, ‘You’re lying.’ She couldn’t believe me. It took her like 10 minutes to convince her.
On if there were hard feelings about Sounders training him away: No. It was part of the business. I know that. It happens all the time. I felt like I was going to be back here eventually. I didn’t expect it to happen this fast, but I kind of always knew I would end up back in Seattle eventually – whether it was toward the end of my career or the middle, either one.
On his fourth camp with the Sounders: I think I’ve been in preseason with Seattle every year for at least like a week. So this is nothing new. But yeah, it seems like every year something switches. But hopefully I’ve found a place to settle down and I’ll be here for a while.
On if he told Montreal he wanted to come home: ) It was something where I had some family issues, and I let them know that. It wasn’t going to be something where they gave me up from free – they actually got something out of it that they wanted.
On the Sounders opening the season March 2 vs. Montreal: It’s kind of crazy. I’m still going to be on the same field, just in a different uniform this time. It will be fun to see those guys again. Like I said, I made a lot of good friends in Montreal. It will be good to see them.
On if he has spoken to Eddie Johnson, for whom he was traded along with Mike Fucito: “Yeah on the field last season when you guys came to Montreal. He came up to me and said hopefully there are no hard feelings, and there wasn’t. It was absolutely part of the business. He’s a good guy. He did well. And now I’m back, so all’s well.”