Atlanta United announced Garth Lagerwey as president and chief executive officer on Nov. 22, 2022. Lagerwey oversees the leadership of Atlanta United, Atlanta United 2 and the Atlanta United Academy and reports directly to Vice Chairman Steve Cannon.
Lagerwey brings more than 15 years of experience as an executive in MLS, most recently coming off a successful eight-year run in Seattle where he served as general manager and president of soccer. After his hiring in 2015, the club won two MLS Cup championships in 2019 and 2016, while making MLS Cup final on two other occasions. Seattle became the first MLS club to win the Concacaf Champions League in 2022 and subsequently the first to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup. The club also reached the Leagues Cup Final in 2021. The Sounders amassed a 117-87-56 MLS regular season record and 17-5-3 postseason record during his time with the club.
On its development side, Sounders FC’s Academy enjoyed a strong run, producing multiple First Team contributors and winning Generation Adidas Cup titles in 2019 and 2022.
Before his move to Seattle, Lagerwey served as general manager and senior vice president of soccer operations for Real Salt Lake, guiding the team to its lone MLS title in 2009 and one other appearance in the MLS Cup final. His Salt Lake teams also reached the US Open Cup final in 2013 and in 2011 RSL became the first MLS team to reach the Concacaf Champions League Final.
Lagerwey’s MLS clubs have qualified for the playoffs with four different head coaches and earned 24 home playoff matches. The teams he led qualified for the MLS Playoffs a remarkable 14 seasons in a row from 2008-2021.
Lagerwey was selected as Best Executive at the 2022 World Football Summit and was named MLS’s Sporting Executive of the Year at the conclusion of Seattle’s 2019 MLS Cup championship season. He has also served as co-chair of the MLS Chief Soccer Officer Committee since 2018.
After graduating from Duke University in 1994, Lagerwey played five seasons as a goalkeeper in MLS with 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.
Following his playing career, Lagerwey went on to earn his juris doctorate from Georgetown School of Law in 2004. 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.
Lagerwey was also active in American soccer media early in his career, filling in as a guest writer for Sports Illustrated while also serving as an analyst for D.C. United’s television broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet during parts of seven MLS seasons (2001-07). Lagerwey was an analyst for XM Satellite Radio’s 2006 FIFA World Cup daily show and made appearances on New England Revolution TV and radio broadcasts.
Lagerwey is a native of Elmhurst, Illinois and he and his wife, Hilary, are the parents of three sons (Bennett, Finn and Sam).