Garth Lagerwey Named Atlanta United President and Chief Executive Officer

While no one exact Garth Lagerwey will ever know why he made the move, an educated guess is that Lagerwey was looking for a new challenge. Tuesday afternoon Atlanta United announced that it had handed over complete operations of the club to Lagerwey.  The former Sounders General Manager & President of Soccer since 2015 was named Atlanta United’s club President &. Chief Executive Officer.


In some ways, Lagerwey had run his race with the Sounders. After his arrival in 2015 Lagerwey fed one of the biggest and most frenzied fan bases with savvy moves that delivered MLS Championships in 2016, and 2019. The Sounders were MLS Cup runner-up in 2017 and 2020.  This last season under Lagerwey the Sounders became the first  MLS Club to win the Concacaf Champions League title a goal Lagerwey  mentioned several times

Some of Lagerwey’s signings included  Lagerwey signed Nicolas Lodeiro, Raúl Ruidíaz and João Paulo as DPs to lead the Sounders. Lagerwey was able to convince Jordan Morris to sign a homegrown contract despite interest from Germany while selecting Cristian Roldan in the SuperDraft, then signed both to long-term contract extensions.

“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.


Before his move to Seattle  Lagerwey was the general manager and senior vice president of soccer operations for Real Salt Lake. Lagerwey guided the club to its lone  MLS title in 2009 and another MLS Cup appearance in 2013. The 2013 RLS club also reached the U.S Open Cup final and in 2011 RSL became the first MLS team to reach the Concacaf Champions  League Final.

The move to Seattle completed the goals he was unable to achieve in RSL, so it makes sense  Lagerwey was ready for another challenge.


The move to Atlanta will no doubt be a challenge for Lagerwey in that like Seattle Atlanta United is a big club with a fanatic fan base, deep pocket owner, and a history of winning. Atlanta United won its lone MLS Cup in 2018. The club has set numerous home attendance records in 2017, and 2018 and in 2019 set the single match attendance record with 72, 548 for it August 3rd match against the LA Galaxy.  In 2021 Atlanta United made the playoffs but was knocked out in the first by New York FC.  Like his former club Atlanta United is a club with championship aspirations each and every year.

Our foundational goal from day one in Major League Soccer has been for Atlanta United to be a contender for MLS Cup each year, so we set out to find a leader with deep knowledge and experience in the league and a proven track record of success,” said AMBSE CEO, Steve Cannon. 

Lagerwey spent five seasons as a goalkeeper in MLS with the Kansas City Wizards, Dallas Burn and Miami Fusion. He then earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 2004 after he retired from playing soccer.

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