CHICAGO, Ill. -- One of the biggest stories going into the recently concluded U.S. Men’s National Team camp was Mike Magee’s presence and push for a long awaited first cap.
Coming off his remarkable MLS MVP campaign in 2013, by all accounts Magee had a fantastic month with Jurgen Klinsmann’s side and seemed set to make his full senior team debut in Saturday’s friendly vs. South Korea.
However in an excruciating twist of fate, the Fire forward came down with a bout of food poisoning 24 hours before the game and was left off the team sheet as he dealt with his poorly timed illness.
“I ate or drank something Friday morning and it hit me pretty hard,” he told Chicago-Fire.com Monday. “I didn’t eat again until Sunday night.”
While he remains without his elusive first cap, Magee said he’s not letting the ordeal get to him.
“I was in such bad shape that I couldn’t even think about the game,” he said. “I think it really sunk in yesterday and you just feel like it’s a missed opportunity. You think about it though and it was a month-long camp -- obviously you want to play in the game but I’m not losing sleep. It's unfortunate, I just have to move on."
His absence in the match, combined with Chris Wondolowski's brace made some believe his chances for this summer's U.S. World Cup roster were gone but the player said he had a positive conversation with U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann before returning to Chicago on Sunday.
Though the German manager hasn’t seen him yet on the international level, he says that “the door is still open” for Magee with the U.S. team.
“Jurgen said he was happy with my performance and now he just needs more [from me]. I’m a bit behind the eight ball in terms of him getting to see me and not playing in the game didn’t help but all the feedback was great and he just needs to see me continue to produce and do well with the Fire.”
Generally players that participate in January camp will take a few extra days before re-joining their MLS sides in preseason but that won’t be the case with Magee, whose preference is to go straight into Fire camp when it resumes Wednesday in Bradenton, Fla.
When he arrives, he’ll have the benefit of having trained four weeks with the national team and the previous two to get ready for the camp.
“I’m a little bit nervous, this is probably the fittest I’ve been in a long time but I feel good about coming into camp. I’m excited, there’s a lot of unfinished business from last year with the group. Working with a new coaching staff, getting into a new environment is going to be great. I’m looking forward to starting off the year right and can’t wait to see the guys again."