US Open Cup: What adjustment? New Chicago Fire striker Mike Magee a quick study
If Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee was worried about fitting in with his new club, that concern was wiped away quickly.
After he was officially acquired on Saturday, Magee was thrust straight into the lineup for Tuesday's US Open Cup third-round affair against the Charlotte Eagles. Eleven minutes into his Fire debut, the 11-year MLS veteran nodded home his first goal off of a Gonzalo Segares cross to open the scoring in a 2-0 win.
“To win 2-0 is great and to get a goal under my belt with a new team is obviously a relief,” Magee told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “[Scoring] always helps. The longer you go without scoring a goal, the goal keeps on getting smaller and smaller. When I score a goal, usually I can rattle a few off. The more minutes that you go without scoring, it's a big weight on your back.”
Magee added to his stat-line when he linked up with Chris Rolfe in the 57th minute, supplying his strike mate a pass that Rolfe fired for a looping shot from outside the box. The pair combined well all night, but Magee admits that Rolfe did pretty much all of the work in his moment of brilliance.
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“I thought me and Rolfe were very good and combined very good,” Magee said. “There were a couple of plays where we hit it off, where a little one-two came off here or there, and we were in. We combined for his goal, even though he pretty much did everything.”
After dropping their US Open Cup opener to the Michigan Bucks last year, the Fire lifted a weight off of their shoulders by moving onto the Round of 16, where they'll host the Columbus Crew on June 12.
Magee knows well how difficult these early games are against lower-division clubs – his former Galaxy teammates lost to the Carolina RailHawks last year on the same day the Fire lost to the Bucks, and the RailHawks made it two in a row over the MLS Cup champs on Wednesday.
“These games are a lot more difficult than a lot of people think,” Magee said. “I thought the [Eagles] were actually pretty good … It says a lot about the group the way we came out.”