Has Mike Magee topped the “Higuain Standard” as MLS all-time top summer arrival?


Watching it unfold last year, I thought what Federico Higuain was accomplishing at Columbus would stand for years as the gold standard of how a summer signing could so spectacularly alter a team, turning things skyward in a huge hurry.

I was wrong.

Mike Magee’s arrival at Chicago may well pass the Higuain Standard. It may have already, in fact.

Someone asked via social media this weekend if any one player’s arrival has meant more to an MLS club than Magee’s has in 2013. I immediately thought of Higuain last year – but the more I thought about it, Magee has gone above and beyond.

When Magee showed up last last month, the beleaguered Fire was a meager 2-7-2 and quickly losing touch with the playoff worthy in the East. Frank Klopas could not feel good about his managerial status and the team had zero reason to like their U.S. Open Cup chances.

Well, look at these guys today. A 5-7-3 mark doesn’t quite put the team in playoff position (top 5 in the conference) but it makes Klopas’ team relevant in the post-season chase, at least. It settles things around the club because Klopas looks safe for the time being.

And look who has found it’s way into the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals!

(MORE: Beware the upset possibilities in tonight’s Open Cup schedule)

None of this happens without Magee, who has scored in all six appearances so far with the Fire. All six! That’s four in league play and two in the Open Cup.

(Don’t ask Magee about any of this, by the way. “Don’t jinx me man,” he said after the Fire’s most recent success. “I can’t comment on numbers of goals right now.”)

You don’t have to ask to see that Magee is tied for league scoring leadership with 10 goals, and that’s a little bonus, an intangible that might help draw a few more fans to Bridgeview.

Looking back a season, Higuain had three goals and six assists in his first five appearances for Columbus last August. The team was 4-0-1 in that time. Perhaps it’s not exactly apples to apples, since Higuain was a transfer arrival while Magee was a trade (for Robbie Rogers’ rights). But it’s not a big stretch to lump both in as “summer arrivals.”

Eventually, Higuain’s arrival was not quite enough to get Columbus into the playoffs. (Injuries to the Argentine attacker had something to do with it, as the Crew missed by a mere two points.) Magee’s arrival has the early appearances of a real season saver around Toyota Park. If so, he will surely pass surpass the Higuain gold standard in that regard.

VIDEO: Salah scores sublime goal for Liverpool

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Mohamed Salah is at it again.

After two games without a goal (a serious drought by his standards) it took Salah less than four minutes to give Liverpool the lead against Watford at Anfield.

The Egyptian wizard danced past multiple Watford defenders before slotting home a cool finish for his 25th goal in the Premier League this season.

Salah has now scored 33 goals in 41 games for Liverpool and his incredible season continue.

Watch his latest moment of magic, here.

Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom: Cherries fight back

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  • Late goals from Ibe, Stanislas seal comeback
  • West Brom 1 win in last 28 games
  • Baggies 10 points from safety

Bournemouth launched a late comeback to beat West Brom 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

West Brom led through Jay Rodriguez but two spectacular goals late on from Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas sparked a dramatic comeback.

With the win Bournemouth move into 11th on 36 points, while West Brom stay bottom on 20 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

West Brom started well and Salomon Rondon’s header was saved by Asmir Begovic after good work down the right from Allan Nyom.

Rodriguez then forced Begovic into another save and Bournemouth were forced into a defensive change as Simon Francis was replaced by Charlie Daniels.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Some hefty challenges flew in as both sets of players were fired up and ready for battle, with Josh King going down in the box at one end and Rondon at the other end as the Venezuelan also forced Begovic into another save.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Early in the second half West Brom went ahead as Kieran Gibbs‘ cross found Rondon who nodded down and Rodriguez finished to breath new life into the Baggies’ survival hopes. Or so they thought…

Junior Stanislas put a free kick just over as Bournemouth started to turn the key and soon they were level. Ibe spanked a shot in from distance which skipped into the far corner to make it 1-1, then came Stanislas’ heroics.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

The winger curled home a sumptuous free kick to make it 2-1 and send the home fans wild as Bournemouth’s Premier League status was all but secured for another season.

Watch Live: Liverpool v. Watford

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Liverpool host Watford at Anfield on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with Jurgen Klopp‘s men aiming to go third in the Premier League table.


With Liverpool’s other top four rivals Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea all in FA Cup action this weekend, this is a chance for the Reds to give themselves some breathing space.

Javi Gracia and Watford know the pressure is off as they sit in 10th place in the table and they will see this game as a free hit.

In team news Liverpool bring in Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum come into the starting lineup.

Watford bring in Britos for Janmaat.




Huddersfield 0-2 Crystal Palace: Eagles flying

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  • Palace move out of relegation zone
  • Eagles snap run of four-straight defeats, seven games without a win
  • Huddersfield just one point above Palace

Crystal Palace beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 in a hugely important relegation clash at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Palace went ahead via James Tomkins in the first half and Luka Milivojevic added a penalty kick in the second half to seal the win.

With the victory Roy Hodgson‘s side move out of the bottom three and into 16th place on 30 points, while Huddersfield are in 15th on 31 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Early on a corner from Palace caused havoc and James McArthur could’ve scored but didn’t make the most of the opportunity with Christian Benteke also having an effort block.

Wilfried Zaha then had a shot from the edge of the box which deflected wide as Palace poured forward and then Luka Milivojevic curled a free kick close.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Benteke was then denied by a great tackle from Christopher Schindler as the Eagles dominated the first half in West Yorkshire. Jeffrey Schlupp went down with an injury and was replaced by Yohan Cabaye as Hodgson saw yet another player go down.

Soon after the Eagles were ahead as Milivojevic’s corner from the left found Tomkins and at the second attempt the defender scored to make it 1-0. Huddersfield responded to going behind with Milivojevic superbly cutting out Alex Pritchard when he was about to shoot from eight yards out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Benteke then went down rather easily inside the box as he looked for a penalty kick but referee Mike Dean was having none of it.

Tomkins almost scored a second after being found at the back post from another corner but Steve Mounie cleared and soon after Huddersfield’s French striker smashed inches wide of the post.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Andros Townsend then won a penalty kick on the break as Mathias Jorgensen hacked him down in the box and Milivojevic scored the spot kick to make it 2-0.

Late on Palace should have scored more with Yohan Cabaye going close and there was only a slight worry for the Eagles as Wilfried Zaha hobbled off injured.