Mike Magee’s move to Chicago was a bit of a head-scratcher from one perspective:
How did that wily ol’ Bruce Arena, long the smartest kid in the room when it comes to MLS roster construction, get hoodwinked into agreeing to a bad deal on this high-profile Robbie Rogers swap? Especially when it seemed that leverage was on the Galaxy side in talks with Chicago, which owned the highly publicized left winger’s MLS rights.
Rogers had said out loud that he didn’t want to play in Chicago – no offense, guys – because he wanted to be closer to his family and extended support network in California.
So … Rogers’ rights for Mike Magee? Consider that Magee is a veteran MLS man who sure knows how to step up when it counts, in the MLS playoffs and, more recently, when his team was desperate for a scoring solution pending high-profile reinforcements.
Magee stepped forward to offer some explanation. Long story short, he asked for the move. He’s a Chicago native and had long thought about the possibility of playing closer to home. Magee has been thinking about coming home, he said, since he left at age 15 for U.S. Soccer’s Bradenton Academy.
What the Fire’s new forward/midfielder said after Monday’s practice in Illinois:
It’s been on my mind pretty much since I left. I tried to get back [here] a couple times in the past and then I think throughout the process with Robbie Rogers, that whole saga with him trying to get to LA, it crept in my mind that somebody had to go to Chicago. And I raised my hand.”
Magee, with six goals this year, tied for third in MLS, did not play Saturday as the Fire visited Real Salt Lake. If he doesn’t play tonight against the Charlotte Eagles in U.S. Open Cup action, he’ll surely get into the fight this weekend as the Fire hosts D.C. United.