Lamar Neagle relishes role as supersub, ‘glad he can contribute’ late in games

SEATTLE — Lamar Neagle scored his 29th career Seattle Sounders goal on Sunday night in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy, a total that’s spanned eight years and four separate stints in Rave Green, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Federal Way, Wash., native came on as an 83rd-minute supersub against the LA Galaxy with the Sounders trailing 1-0 and equalized just two minutes later. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer told Neagle he wanted him to create width and be an attacker when he entered, and that’s exactly what Neagle did.

Roman Torres crossed a perfect bouncing ball across the middle of the 18-yard-box and into the path of Neagle. He stepped forward and one-timed a half-volley off a Galaxy defender and into the back of the net. Neagle said he tried to just keep his shot low and put it on frame and wanted to capitalize on one of Seattle’s best chances of the night.

“We were taking everything too quickly instead of being more patient,” Neagle said. “We had great possession and then in the final third it seemed like we were rushing everything.”

Neagle helped Seattle extend its club-record unbeaten run to 12 matches, and it sits just one point outside of first place in the Western Conference with a game in hand on the leaders Portland. The Sounders head to Frisco, Texas, next weekend for the first of two matches against FC Dallas in the final six regular-season contests.

Neagle knows what Schmetzer and the coaching staff expect of him and are hoping he can continue to make an impact late in games down the stretch and into the playoffs.

“To make a difference at these times, that’s exactly why they brought me back,” Neagle said. “Breaking the [starting] 11 is very tough when you have the caliber of guys on this team, so I knew [a supersub] was going to be my position and what I’m here for. I’m glad I can contribute.”