22
Jan

Magee motivated and hungry for more in 2014 season

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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.”

5
Dec

Mike Magee takes long road to MLS summit as MVP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – MLS executive vice president, player relations and competition Todd Durbin recalled when he first met Mike Magee 10 years ago. Magee joined the league as a promising U.S. youth international, a player brimming with promise and teeming with the skill to fulfill it. His presence on the stage to accept his first MLS MVP award ensured that point had finally arrived.

Magee traveled a long road to fulfill his potential and produce the sort of season (32 games, 21 goals, four assists) worth of this award. He functioned in the shadows behind brighter stars. He revealed his class in fits and starts without pulling everything together. He survived the doubts created by a knee injury seven years ago to commence his ascent toward the top of the league.

 

“Coming back from that was a lot harder than I thought,” Magee said. “The rehab took a big toll mentally and physically. I had set such a high standard for myself. I tried playing for a long time, but I realized my body wasn’t allowing me to do what I wanted to do. There were some dark times. Waking up, I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do. I just stuck with it. Obviously, it’s paying off.”

Magee emerged as a key figure for LA Galaxy over the past few seasons and played a considerable role in the club’s titles in 2011 and 2012. He filled any gap in Bruce Arena’s lineup and provided the flexibility to tailor the team to fit the task on the day. His contributions often went overlooked in a team with David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, but they were essential to the Galaxy’s success.

His complementary role with the Galaxy transformed into a star turn when he returned to his native Chicago in a high-profile swap for the rights to Robbie Rogers back in May. It took less than a day to figure out how much his professional life had changed. He planned to ask Fire coach Frank Klopas about playing forward more regularly after featuring mostly in the wide areas with the Galaxy. Klopas didn’t give him the chance: the ex-Fire boss asked him where he wanted to play during his first training session with the team.

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It proved a wise decision for both club and player. Magee continued to exploit the gaps he located with the Galaxy and polished off the service provided by Dilly Duka, Joel Lindpere and Patrick Nyarko. He grasped the opportunity with both hands on and off the field. And his exploits proved impressive enough to hold off former Galaxy teammate Keane and Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio for his first major honor.

“From the time I got there until now, it’s been absolutely amazing,” Magee said. “I think I’ve had a lot more seasons where there have been more ups and downs, but this year, it just seemed like it kept getting better from a soccer standpoint and a life standpoint.”

Magee hopes the progress will continue into next season. He cherishes the opportunity to play in front of his family and his friends. He harbors hopes of transitioning into the U.S. national team setup (Jurgen Klinsmann hasn’t made contact yet, he said). He wants to help the Fire return to the playoffs under new boss Frank Yallop.

There is plenty still left to do, but the discussions about his ability to meet his potential are done and dusted. The trophy now in his hands proves it.

(Images: US Presswire)

31
Jul

MLS All-Stars’ “We’re Better Than the Best” takes America by storm

Before the MLS All-Stars take on AS Roma on Wednesday night, the league’s best players grabbed the mic to record this classic rap video for Will Ferrell’s FunnyOrDie.com, a direct homage to the 1985 Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle, right down to the funky 80s beat and extremely dope corny lines.

There are so many great parts here, we don’t even know where to begin. The zubaz sweatpants, Kyle Beckerman getting way, way too into it, Brad Davis’ rolled-up overalls, Wondo shattering all conventional rhyme schemes…it’s just too much to handle.

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4
Mar

Ode to Robbie Keane

When Mike Magee scored his third goal of the match for the LA Galaxy on Sunday, completing his hat trick, he added a little extra to his celebration.

The unstoppable forward did a somersault and put his index fingers to the sky, seeming to imitate the post-goal antics of teammate Robbie Keane. It turns out that Magee attempted the celebration to give thanks to his strike partner.

“[Keane] had a part in all three of my goals. That was my makeshift, last-second try to do a Robbie Keane celebration. I had no idea what I was doing. It was a little bit of a thank you to him for having something to do with all three of them,” Magee said after the 4-0 Galaxy win.

It wasn’t pretty, but certainly a fun moment to cap a dominant performance from the forward. Clearly his efforts with his feet were stellar in the match, but he didn’t rate his own ode to Keane well.

“It felt terrible. It felt absolutely terrible. That’ll be the last time I do it. That’ll be all the thanks he’ll get,” Magee said. “Won’t say it verbally though.”

When asked how he thought Magee did in his copy-cat attempt, the Irish striker didn’t hesitate in his reply.

“Terrible,” Keane said. “He obviously saw the real one after.”

And Magee, along with his teammates and the crowd at the Home Depot Center, did indeed see the flawless execution of Keane’s trademark celebration.