Mike Magee says "it was long past due to get home" to Chicago
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Many never thought Mike Magee would be the Fire’s compensation if and when the team dealt Robbie Rogers’ MLS rights to LA.
That includes the player himself.
“No, I didn’t [think it would be me],” Magee told reporters following his first Fire training session Monday.
“I have to thank the Galaxy. I had a good talk with Bruce [Arena], mentioned I’m from here and that it was long past due that I get home. The Galaxy were great in facilitating that.”
Magee said a return to Chicago has been desirable since first going into U.S. U-17 national team residency as a 15-year-old.
Magee made a major impact with the two-time defending MLS Cup champions, earning the nickname “Mr. November” after tallying eight goals in 18 playoff matches with the Galaxy.
His six goals through the first 10 matches of 2012 have him just one behind the Fire’s team total on the season but said he doesn’t feel any additional pressure to score in Chicago.
“I put enough pressure on myself just to perform anyways. It’s obviously added pressure when you’re on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Instantly when the trade became official I felt that pressure but there’s no added pressure to score goals and do anything different than what I’ve done.
Throughout his 11-year MLS career, the 28-year-old has split time out wide on the right and as a forward but Frank Klopas seemed to leave little doubt as to where Magee would begin on the field for the Fire.
“I think you get him around the goal,” said the Fire manager. “Depending on the need, you can move him around but I think around the goal, his ability to combine and finish plays is quality.
WATCH: Welcome Home Mike Magee
As for when he’ll make his debut, Magee says he’s ready to take his first bow in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup third round match at the Charlotte Eagles.
“I haven’t spoken to them about what the plans are but they brought me here to play.”
Though he wouldn’t confirm, Klopas signaled that it would like happen.
“I can’t give you my scouting report because everybody’s watching. [Laughs] I think the chances are pretty high.”