For a guy barely recognizable to most domestic soccer fans through most of his professional career, Mike Magee sure has made a lot of news over the last few months.
His inspirational goal-scoring tear nearly rescued an entire club’s season, his big run at the Golden Boot, his involvement in the high profile Robbie Rogers trade, his ability to land league MVP honors on a club that didn’t even make the playoffs (a rare feat) and a growing call for U.S. national team attention meant 2013 was a year the domestic soccer world at large gained far greater awareness of the versatile midfielder-forward.
And now, we are hearing about Magee for some less benign reasons.
We don’t see the word “holdout” too often in Major League Soccer, but here we are.
Long story short: the team is in Tucson – Magee isn’t.
Even if holding out as a negotiating tactic remains a seldom-deployed weapon in the MLS man’s typical arsenal, it really cannot surprise anyone in Magee’s case. This piece from last December cleverly noted that the league’s reigning MVP, at a salary of close to $200,000 and signed up through 2015, is making about the same money as an Olive Garden manager. (Note to self: look into career opportunities at Olive Garden, as they apparently pay far better than journalism.)
The team did acquire allocation money from Philadelphia on Monday in the trade that sent young defender Austin Berry to the brotherly land of the cheesesteak. So perhaps something is in the works to increase the man’s wages while also buying down some of the salary cap hit.
By the way, the team says officially that Magee is taking some personal time. And if you believe that, you probably will never make it as an Olive Garden manager. Because those guys and girls are apparently pretty sharp.