New Atlanta United President and CEO Garth Lagerwey walked into the press conference room at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Tuesday morning and immediately expressed his feelings on his new job.

“It’s phenomenally exciting to be here, it is an opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Lagerwey. “I worked 15 years to get an opportunity to be a CEO, to run both the business and soccer sides of an organization. To be clear I’m not coming here to be the general manager. I’m coming here to be the CEO.”

Atlanta United President & CEO Garth Lagerwey. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

Lagerwey has both played collegiately professionally, and had success running an MLS club, most recently in Seattle. His experience within the game was a factor in the hire, said AMB Sports and Entertainment CEO Steve Cannon during the press conference.

On his lack of a social media presence Lagerwey said, “[I] don’t have any plans to be on TikTok, you guys don’t want to see me dance.”

Lagerwey admitted he does not engage in social media and has no plans to start doing so now. “I wouldn’t want to be on Twitter after a home loss.”

He does expect to ingratiate himself with the rabid Atlanta United fans base, maybe not to former president and CEO Darren Eales’ level however.

“I can’t wait to get to meet people and get out there, shake hands and make it personal and be human and get to know everybody.”

Atlanta United President and CEO Garth Lagerwey poses for photos during his introductory press conference on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Lagerwey is accompanied by AMB Sports and Entertainment CEO Steve Cannon. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Regarding the search for a new president and CEO, AMB CEO Steve Cannon said, “We cast a very wide net. We’ve written a lot of history during the last seven years, but this is a brand new chapter.”

On expectations for Lagerway, Cannon added, “We expect to win championships, we expect to compete within Major League Soccer every single year.”

“For us getting this right was very important,” he said.

What’s next on the soccer scene:

The Southeastern Conference championship game is scheduled to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday, December 3. Like in years past, there is an expectation of more than 70,000-plus fans to attend the annual title game. The city of Atlanta and Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also be the host for a few World Cup matches in 2026.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...