Garth Lagerwey joined Sounders FC on January 6, 2015 after more than seven successful seasons with Real Salt Lake. As Sounders FC General Manager and President of Soccer, Lagerwey oversees all soccer operations, including technical staff management, player personnel and transactions, scouting and the oversight of S2 and the Sounders FC Academy system. Like Adrian Hanauer before him, Lagerwey assumes a position that is subject to fan vote every four years as part of the Sounders FC Alliance Charter.
Hired by Real Salt Lake on September 19, 2007, Lagerwey held the title of General Manager and Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations through the 2014 season, where he served as architect of the team that claimed the 2009 MLS Cup and an appearance in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League Final. He guided the Claret and Cobalt from a last-place finish in the Western Conference in 2007 to seven straight MLS Cup Playoff appearances from 2008-14, accumulating a 101-68-63 record under his leadership. In 2013, RSL also made an appearance in the MLS Cup Final and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Lagerwey’s RSL also became the first MLS club to finish runner-up in the CONCACAF Champions League, falling to Liga MX side Monterrey in the 2010-11 tournament final.
Intimately involved in Major League Soccer circles since the league’s inception in 1996, Lagerwey had a five-year career as a goalkeeper for the Kansas City Wizards (1996), the Dallas Burn (1997-98), and Miami Fusion FC (1999-2000). He made 51 career appearances and 46 starts, accumulating a 25-22-0 record.
Lagerwey joined Real Salt Lake from the law firm of Latham & Watkins, LLC, where he served as an associate in the Corporate Department of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. A graduate of both Duke University (BA, 1994) and Georgetown University Law School (JD, 2004), Lagerwey’s experience in the practice’s Sports, Media & Entertainment; Investment & Strategic Ventures; and Mergers & Acquisitions divisions included assistance in a client’s acquisition of a minority portion of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, the majority owner of which is SCP Worldwide; the buying and selling of companies in a variety of fields; and extensive fund formation and management of the investment funds for the Carlyle Group, with emphasis in the energy sector.
Lagerwey’s sharp wit and knowledge of American soccer at all levels made him a natural fit in the media realm, getting his start by filling in as a guest writer for Sports Illustrated and SI.com writer Grant Wahl’s weekly soccer column. Lagerwey traded his pen for a microphone upon retirement and served as an analyst for D.C. United’s television broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet during parts of seven MLS seasons (2001-07), in addition to being an analyst for XM Satellite Radio’s 2006 FIFA World Cup daily show and seeing spot duty on New England Revolution TV and radio broadcasts.
The Elmhurst, Illinois native is joined in Seattle by his wife Hilary and sons Bennett and Finn.