ATLANTA (AP) — Former Seattle Sounders executive Garth Lagerwey was named on Tuesday to succeed Darren Eales as Atlanta United's president and chief executive officer.
Lagerwey, 49, had been general manager and president for Seattle since 2015. Seattle won this year's Concacaf Champions League title and MLS Cup championships in 2019 and 2016. Seattle reached two additional MLS Cup finals under Lagerwey's leadership.
“I’d like to thank Garth for all he’s done for Sounders FC over the past eight seasons,” said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. “He helped elevate our club to new heights while also working hard behind the scenes to strengthen our player development pathway, data and analytics departments, academy ranks, Tacoma Defiance roster and much more.
Eales announced on July 15 he was leaving Atlanta United to become the chief executive officer of Newcastle United in the Premier League in England. Eales had led the front office since Atlanta United's inception in 2014, including its 2018 MLS Cup title.
Lagerwey was named general manager for MLS’s Real Salt Lake in 2017 and the team won the 2009 MLS championship.
Lagerwey played five seasons in the MLS as a goalkeeper with Kansas City, Dallas and Miami.
Atlanta United finished a disappointing 11th in the Eastern Conference this year, missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Lagerwey said Atlanta provides “incredible ownership, unmatched resources and infrastructure, and the amazing fan support this club has enjoyed from the start” and said the move is “the perfect next step in my career.”
"Honestly, it’s the chance of a lifetime and I could not be more excited to get to Atlanta and get to work,” Lagerwey said in a statement released by the team.