When Robbie Rogers began speaking about his desire to return to MLS with the LA Galaxy nearly three weeks ago, much discussion began about who the Fire could potentially get from the two-time defending MLS Cup champs to make it happen.
And though both head coach Frank Klopas and President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon were adamant about trying to bring the 26-year-old attacker to Chicago, it became clear the desire wasn’t mutual for the player.
The teams talked about a trade over the two weeks with both Klopas and Leon saying publicly they understood Rogers’ position but needed to look out for the best interest of the Fire.
Rogers got his wish Saturday, as the Fire sent his rights to the Galaxy in exchange for team-leading scorer and Chicagoland native Mike Magee.
“We initially acquired the rights to Robbie Rogers because we think he is a great player,” said Leon. “As he expressed his interested in being home near his family, we’re happy to have worked out a deal with the Galaxy that will benefit all parties. We wish Robbie all the best with the Galaxy.”
Magee’s form to start 2013 made the South Barrington product’s name the most popular one bandied about during the nearly three weeks of abundant speculation.
“To add someone of Mike’s caliber to the Fire roster is tremendousd,” said Chicago Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. “Mike is a proven offensive threat and to have him on our roster is a great opportunity for the Fire. He’s a Chicago guy, and we know he’s just as excited to come back home as we are to have him join the Club.”
Because of Magee’s early season form, talk of the 28-year-old attacker joining the Fire had been mostly dismissed. Early reaction to the news Friday night was positive
Magee’s six goals match the production of the entire Fire team through 10 games this season and should be a welcome addition to a side that has done a good job to create chances but not finish them of late.
Magee won’t be in the Fire 18 for Saturday night’s match at Real Salt Lake but is expected to be available for selection for Wednesday’s third round U.S. Open Cup match at Charlotte Eagles.