Garth Lagerwey is well aware of what’s at stake during his second season in Seattle.
The Sounders’ GM and President of Soccer is deep in the process of courting a Designated Player and possibly more to join the club during the summer transfer window, hopefully steering a season back from the brink after one of the slowest starts in franchise history.
The Sounders are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference and lost three of their last four heading into MLS’ international break, with a tough match on the road against the New York Red Bulls looming on June 19.
And Lagerwey – who joined the club ahead of the 2015 season and oversaw the team’s three marquee summer signings last year – is well aware that whatever moves he makes could make or break the season.
“I do think that if we identify a creative midfielder, a chance-creating midfielder, that’s someone who can be a force magnifier for us," Lagerwey told the Seattle Times. “It could make Clint (Dempsey) better. It could make Jordan (Morris) better. It could make (Erik) Friberg better — Ozzie (Alonso), (Andreas) Ivanschitz, the whole gang.
“You do have signings that end up being pivotal. I think most of those become clear with hindsight. … If you win a title, they’re probably going to look back and say they were pivotal. If you lose, then no one will remember, other than writing them on your epitaph.”
Lagerwey also discussed his own ambitions and whether he can succeed with the Sounders after building Real Salt Lake into an MLS Cup champion, but said he shouldn’t be the focus of attention.
“I get asked that question a lot: Are you excited to make your mark? I’m excited for the team to win,” Lagerwey said. “We’re not golfers or swimmers. We’re not individual-sport athletes. We’re team-sport athletes. We want the team to succeed.
“Is it exciting to sign a DP? Sure. But it would be beyond stupid for me to say, ‘It’s awesome Oba left, and that our team took a hit so I can aggrandize myself by signing a DP in the summer.’ That’s stupid. Look, I hope to sign a DP that complements the players we have. I do think we have a ton of talent here.”