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SALT LAKE CITY -- Real Salt Lake and its ownership group, SCP Worldwide, today announced that former Major League Soccer veteran Garth Lagerwey will serve as the Utah club's Senior Vice President & General Manager, effective immediately. The 34-year-old Lagerwey becomes the team's second General Manager, taking over the position that has sat vacant since the resignation of Steve Pastorino in early May.
"Garth brings RSL a unique depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in both the professional soccer and business worlds," said RSL Owner and SCP Worldwide Chairman David W. Checketts. "Following an exhaustive international search, we believe we have found precisely the right individual to take all of the competitive aspects of our club to the next level."
Lagerwey joins the Real Salt Lake front office from the law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he served as an associate in the Corporate Department of the firm's Washington, D.C. office. A graduate of both Duke University (BA, 1994) and Georgetown University Law School (JD, 2004), Lagerwey's experience in the practice's Sports, Media & Entertainment; Investment & Strategic Ventures; and Mergers & Acquisitions divisions included assistance in a client's acquisition of a minority portion of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, the majority owner of which is SCP Worldwide; the buying and selling of companies in a variety of fields; and extensive fund formation and management of the investment funds for the Carlyle Group, with emphasis in the energy sector.
"I'm tremendously excited to come and work for Real Salt Lake and the best owner in all of professional sports in Dave Checketts," said Lagerwey. "I look forward to the challenge of making this team better and rewarding our loyal fans for all of their faith and devotion."
Lagerwey has been intimately involved in Major League Soccer circles since the League's inception in 1996, when he began his five-year career as a goalkeeper for the Kansas City Wizards (1996), the Dallas Burn (1997-98), and Miami Fusion FC (1999-2000). Lagerwey's three stints in the League's early days allowed him to cross paths with a handful of current RSL players and coaches, including Andy Williams, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Jeff Cassar, and Jason Kreis, alongside whom Lagerwey also spent his four-year collegiate career at Duke University.
Lagerwey's sharp wit and knowledge of American soccer at all levels made him a natural fit in the media realm, getting his start by filling in as a guest writer for Sports Illustrated and SI.com writer Grant Wahl's weekly soccer column. Lagerwey traded his pen for a microphone upon retirement and has served as a color analyst for D.C. United's television broadcasts on Comcast sportsnet during the last seven MLS seasons (2001-07).
Latham and Watkins' Los Angeles office spawned the careers of Major League Soccer Founder Alan I. Rothenberg, for whom the League's Cup Championship trophy is named, as well as that of current MLS President Mark Abbott. Current MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis began his career in the firm's London office.