Chicago Fire's Mike Magee adjusting to being marked man in breakout year: "That's how it's going to be"

Having an MVP Caliber season, Magee has noticed defenders treating him a bit differently

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – After scoring eight goals in his first 10 games with the Chicago Fire, Mike Magee hit a dry spell.

It wasn't what most forwards would call a dry spell – just four league games passed before he netted another. But throughout his streak, Magee gradually saw defenders change the way they marked him.

"I'm not the biggest guy in the world, so it's obvious that early on in my runs, I'm getting bumped, which is fair, it's nothing crazy, but I've noticed that, which is normal for little guys," Magee said. "It gradually got a little more bumping and a little harder guarding. I had a little adjustment period when I got a little tired of it. Mentally, I just had to come around and realize that that's how it's going to be from here on out."

Magee is back to his goalscoring ways, bagging four goals in the last five games. He's scored 18 goals this season, and coach Frank Klopas thinks those numbers, along with other ways he affects the team, should put MVP conversation, though the 29-year-old doesn't seem worried about the award.

"I don't think that's something he's thinking about, because I know Mike, he would tell you he'll give those two goals [in Saturday's 2-2 tie with Montreal] to get three points," Klopas said. "I think that's the mentality he has, but for me, yeah, he should [be an MVP candidate] …

"I think with his quality, you give him one or two chances, one is going to get in there. He just has that instinct and quality to find himself in good spots."

He's still scoring those goals and getting those chances at an MVP-caliber rate. Now, they're just coming a little bit differently.

"I think part of my game before was just lulling them to sleep a little bit, trying to get my touches," Magee said. "My runs need to be a little better, a little harder, sometimes you've got to make a little longer runs than you normally would just to find the guy or get into good spots as opposed to just kind of drifting away, because when I first got here they just kind of let me drift away.

"Now, as I'm drifting, a guy is kind of drifting out with me."