On Tuesday evening, Seattle Sounders General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey joined “Sounders Weekly” on Sports Radio KJR to discuss the club’s pursuit of new players. While he couldn’t share any specific names, Lagerwey provided interesting context to what goes into signing players.
“We’re looking,” Lagerwey told host Jackson Felts. “We’re going to find some good players, and hopefully get at least one of them signed, maybe more than that. We’ll keep working at it.”
The interview comes at a time of uneasiness for a fanbase that has yet to see a goal in the 2018 campaign. Lagerwey understands the need to add a dynamic scorer after Jordan Morris’ suffered a season-ending injury, but also has confidence in a group that been to consecutive MLS Cups.
“We’ve been very active, yet we’ve been able to preserve the core of the team,” Lagerwey said. “We’ve got to continue to get better. We know we need a goalscorer because we’ve lost one for the season…We have to find a replacement for Jordan. We have to add someone who can score goals.”
The chase for his replacement is a worldwide endeavor. Vice President of Soccer & Scouting Director Chris Henderson scours the globe for guys who could potentially join the squad.
“Chris is one of the best in the business, if not the best,” Lagerwey added. “We are very fortunate to have him. He does an awesome job.”
Chris Henderson, left, and Garth Lagerwey, right, pose with Kim Kee-hee at CenturyLink Field | Mike Fiechtner
Since joining the organization in January 2015, Lagerwey has signed an impressive haul of international talent, including current Sounders Nicolás Lodeiro, Román Torres, Gustav Svensson, Kelvin Leerdam, Víctor Rodriguez and Magnus Wolff Eikrem, plus former players Nelson Valdez and Andreas Ivanschitz.
In those past three years, the salary cap has doubled. This allows for more flexible spending on quality players, but also increases the risk of investing in a player who doesn’t fit the culture of the club.
“You want to see guys who are dedicated to the group, the team, the club and the city,” Lagerwey said. “You don’t want players coming in who are just about themselves…When you’re talking about [Designated Players], they are critical decisions. You have to come at it from every direction, every angle.”
While Lagerwey, Henderson and the scouting staff continue to find the right fit for the team, Lagerwey had a message for the supporters.
“Keep supporting the team,” he said. “Every dollar of revenue we get we pump into our soccer team. Fans are helping us every week by coming out and supporting our team and showing what a great atmosphere it is. Every single highlight video we show to players, in terms of recruitment, are shots of the stadium and shots of the atmosphere. It’s unique; it’s important.”
You can listen to the whole episode HERE.