WASHINGTON — As a prospect trying to make his mark, Lamar Neagle was handed no shortage of signs that maybe soccer wasn't the right career path for him.
With no scholarship offers in tow, the Tacoma, Washington, native had to fight for a walk-on role at UNLV. Undrafted out of college, Neagle only earned a contract with the Seattle Sounders after going on trial. Let go by Seattle after a rookie year in 2009 with no competitive appearances, Neagle weighed his options in the lower levels but also saw doubt creep into his mind.
"Guys have to have that," Neagle said on the Goal USA podcast. "You may say you don't, but I'm sure you do, especially if you're dropping down a league. 'Is this for me?' Some guys maybe just need a new environment, they need something new, something to prove to themselves, and I think that's exactly what I needed."
Signing with the third-tier Charleston Battery in 2010, Neagle compiled 12 goals in 19 matches to claim league Golden Boot and MVP honors. He re-signed with the Sounders in 2011 after a brief stint in Finland and has been an MLS mainstay ever since, racking up 30 goals and 22 assists over the past six seasons with Seattle, the Montreal Impact and, now, D.C. United.
"It was the confidence," Neagle said. "Moving down and doing well in Charleston and doing well in Finland made me believe that I can play professionally — I'm supposed to be here."
Check out the full episode of the Goal USA podcast below as Neagle talks about everything from his roots in the beautiful game and new life in the nation's capital to his fondness for Marvel movies.