Fire hopes pairing Mike Magee, Chris Rolfe will help offense
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media June 1, 2013 1:08AM
D.C. UNITED AT FIRE
The facts: 4 p.m., Ch. 50, 107.9-FM
Updated: July 3, 2013 6:51AM
Fire coach Frank Klopas scoffed at the notion he still was experimenting with his offense when he paired Mike Magee and Chris Rolfe at forward in the team’s 2-0 victory Wednesday against the Charlotte Eagles in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
But whether Klopas has found a solution to the offensive woes that have plagued the Fire all season, it appears clear he is going to stick with playing the duo together Sunday against D.C. United at Toyota Park.
Magee, who had only two days to prepare for U.S. Open Cup game after being traded to the Fire last weekend, looked as though he had been with the team all season. He and Rolfe scored the goals Wednesday.
‘‘I’ve know Chris for a long time,’’ Magee said. ‘‘We’ve both obviously been in the league, and I know the kind of player he is and knew it would work out.
‘‘I’ve never found it too difficult [to play with new people]. I feel like when you’re on a new team, people sometimes kind of overanalyze it and all that. I’ve never had an issue playing with new guys, especially coming into a team with guys like Rolfe.’’
The Fire tempered its excitement about the result Wednesday, knowing it was expected to beat a lower-division team. But Rolfe has had to adjust to enough new lineups in his career to realize the situation could have been a lot worse.
Forwards with contrasting styles often can take weeks to jell, but Rolfe and Magee play similar styles, which makes it easier for them to combine more successfully in the offensive zone. Rolfe’s goal Wednesday was the result of good teamwork between the players.
‘‘It can be difficult, as we’ve all seen in the past,’’ Rolfe said. ‘‘With Mike’s kind of character, his personality, going along with the way that he plays soccer makes it that much easier because we match up that way.’’
NOTE: Fire midfielder Logan Pause is day-to-day with an injury to his groin and hamstring.