When the Seattle Sounders host D.C. United on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. PT; Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM), it will be a special homecoming for Lamar Neagle. The Federal Way, Wash., native had three separate stints with the Sounders — 2009, 2011, 2013-15 — and will be making his first trip to Seattle as an opponent. SoundersFC.com caught up with Neagle ahead of Wednesday’s match. [NOTE: This interview has been edited for clarity.]
SOUNDERSFC.COM: How does it feel coming home?
NEAGLE: It’s nice, most of my family is in the area, my wife is from Federal Way too. We both have a lot of family here.
SOUNDERSFC.COM: Is there anything you’ve missed the most about Seattle?
NEAGLE: Just being around family and playing for your hometown. That’s pretty special.
SOUNDERSFC.COM: Being a local guy, what does this club mean to you?
NEAGLE: It’s home. It’s where I got my start as well. I wasn’t drafted. I wasn’t looked at by MLS teams. I didn’t go to the combine. [Then-assistant coach Brian] Schmetzer is actually the one who gave me the call to come try out when they were in California for preseason. I definitely owe them for that first year getting it under my belt. I went down to USL the next year, then [the Sounders] gave me another chance and brought me back in and I started playing. That’s when I really got my start in MLS in 2011.
SOUNDERSFC.COM: What was it like playing under Schmetzer then, especially now that he’s the head coach in Seattle?
NEAGLE: It was good, I’ve known Schmetzer for a long time. I used to come back when I was in college to train with the Sounders in USL. He’s a great guy and obviously was the right man for the job and did an amazing job when he finally got the chance.
SOUNDERSFC.COM: What is it going to feel like playing at CenturyLink Field as an opponent?
NEAGLE: It’s going to be really weird, that’s for sure. That’ll be really weird not being in green on that field. I don’t know, I’ll probably have to tell you after how it feels.
SOUNDERSFC.COM: Is there anyone on the current Sounders team with whom you’re still close?
SOUNDERSFC.COM: What was your best moment while playing with the Sounders?
NEAGLE: Whenever we won something. When we won the Open Cups, the Supporters’ Shield. My most memorable one was when I scored a hat trick against Columbus [in 2011]. That was a pretty special moment.
SOUNDERSFC.COM: Do you have any lasting memories of your time playing here in Seattle?
NEAGLE: Just the relationships with the guys and the fans are going to last. I can look back on it and have a good time telling my kids. In 2009, I ended up playing against Chelsea and Barcelona, those were my only two games that year. Those were fond memories. I loved getting to know more of that Washington soccer culture and trying to be a part of it.