Opportunities are bountiful for the Chicago Fire and for their inspirational scoring leader, Mike Magee, who could potentially stamp his name in MLS history with a big afternoon Sunday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio was dead level with Magee in the MLS scoring race heading into this 35th and final weekend. Di Vaio and his Impact couldn’t get it done in Toronto, falling 1-0 to Ryan Nelsen’s difficult bunch. That leaves Magee needing just one for a big possibility of claiming the league’s Golden Boot:
We should certainly point out that Vancouver’s Camilo could have something to say about all this – he just has more work ahead, currently trailing the leaders by one goal. The Whitecaps, eliminated from the playoffs and potentially looking at coaching upheaval, don’t have much left for which to play, so they are sure to focus on service into their Brazilian attacker during Sunday’s finale at home against Colorado.
Magee won’t be worried about that as he walks into Red Bull Arena for Sunday’s big contest (5 p.m. ET on Spanish-language UniMas). It’s a big occasion, as the Red Bulls can claim the organization’s first, major trophy – if you can believe that.
Meanwhile, there’s so much on the line for Chicago, where the playoffs are within reach – and where a coaching change is seems likely if Frank Klopas cannot get his Fire into the post-season. The playoff positioning scenarios are myriad, but in simplest form it looks like this: If Chicago wins, the team is into the playoffs.
But a Chicago loss coupled with wins by New England and Houston, and the Fire is out – Poof! – just like that.
Individually, there’s a ton at stake for Magee. If he scores, the Golden Boot is probably his.
If the Fire does win and makes its way into the post-season, Magee is probably the league’s MVP. Robbie Keane and others may have an MVP argument, but the story of Magee and his guidance of the Fire’s stunning season turnaround will be too much for MVP voters to overcome if Chicago’s finds their way into the post-season.