Seattle Sounders General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey has made a mistake. A huge mistake. You might be asking what am I talking about? I’m talking about trading Sean Okoli for the 33rd overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Before I get into specifics, let’s have a little background on Lagerwey. From 1991-1994, Lagerwey played soccer that Duke University. He bounced around in the lower levels of soccer in America before finally being drafted by DC United in the 1996 MLS Inaugural Player Draft. He was then traded to the Kansas City Wiz, where he played 23 games in 1996.
Over the next two years, he only played in ten games as a member of the Dallas Burn. The Colorado Rapids selected Lagerwey in the November 1998 waiver draft, but was waived on February 23, 1999. He then signed with the Miami Fusion before eventually being waived by the team in 2000. After being waived, he retired from the sport as a player.
After having various jobs in broadcast media as well as being an attorney, Real Salt Lake announced Lagerwey as the team’s senior vice president and general manager. In his tenure with Salt Lake, he was able to make them a constant top team in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. The club also made to trips to MLS Cup, winning in 2009 and finishing as runner up in 2013 to Sporting KC.
It was announced that after seven years with Salt Lake, Lagerwey would be moving on to a new team. That new team being the Sounders and it was made official on January 6, 2015.
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Prior to the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Lagerwey had only been with the team for nine days. It is hard to imagine that he could make a mistake so soon. As I mentioned earlier, that mistake was trading future considerations to the New England Revolution in exchange for the 33rd overall pick. Those future considerations turned out to be Okoli.
It was announced yesterday that the player the Sounders drafted with the 33rd overall pick, Tyler Miller, decided to not sign with MLS and the Sounders. He opted to play for a 4th division team in Germany rather than play with the Sounders.
Going into the draft the team had to know it was a possibility that Miller may stay in Germany. If that is the case, why take the chance and waste a draft pick and a young player in the process. The Sounders were in huge need of a third goalkeeper going into the draft. The team needs a ‘keeper to play at S2 and come up through the system and thought they had found him. However, it did not come to fruition.
The Sounders still hold his rights for the next two years if he does decided to come to MLS. That is about the only good thing that has come out of this so far. Not only did you waste a pick on a player that turned you down, you also lost one on a young, budding potential star in MLS.
You’ve been on the job two weeks, and you have already made one huge mistake Lagerwey. How many more are on the horizon?