Life is good for Chicago forward Mike Magee.
Magee emerged the shadows with LA Galaxy at the start of 2013 and took on a starring role with the Fire after his midseason trade. He ended last season with the MLS MVP trophy in his hands after warding off competition from Montreal forward Marco Di Vaio and former Galaxy teammate Robbie Keane. And he finished his finest professional season in his hometown.
“It was a very eventful season, a good season, as good as it can be without making the playoffs,” Magee recently told FOX Soccer analyst Keith Costigan. “It was exciting.”
Magee said he hopes the excitement will extend to an improved collective performance from the team. Veteran boss Frank Yallop assumed control of the technical side during the close season after the Fire failed to make the playoffs in 2013.
Yallop’s arrival hasn’t solved the persistent questions up front, but it has provided a spark ahead of the new campaign. Magee said the decision to hire the two-time MLS Cup winning-boss offers should suit the Fire well heading into 2014.
“Every time I played against him, I hated playing against his teams, which is a compliment to him,” Magee said. “From hearing what he says, he wants to press and play attacking soccer, which is perfect for me.”
Magee expects to play an integral role in implementing those plans. He should report to Fire camp in the ideal condition after spending most of January with the U.S. men’s national team. His inclusion in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad and his rampant success last season offer considerable impetus to muster a thrilling second act after his MVP season a year ago.
“You have to make that trophy motivate you, not satisfy you. I’m not going to be satisfied,” Magee said. “I’m just going to try to help the team win some more games.”