Magee’s goal gives Fire a big boost in 2-0 win
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media June 2, 2013 10:30PM
FILE- In this July 23, 2009 file photo, Honduras' Walter Martinez, left, strips the ball from United States' Robbie Rogers during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal soccer game in Chicago. The Galaxy traded Mike Magee to his hometown Fire in exchange for the rights to Rogers, who will wear No. 14. If put on the field, as expected, Rogers will become the first openly gay athlete to play in a men's North American professional sports league Sunday, May 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
The Fire was in control throughout against D.C. United. But it wasn’t until the final minutes of its 2-0 victory Sunday at Toyota Park that the team actually had something to build on.
An own-goal by D.C. United’s Nick DeLeon in the ninth minute gave the Fire the lead, but Mike Magee’s goal in the 85th minute gave a reeling offense confidence heading into a pivotal home game Saturday against the Portland Timbers.
“It’s huge,” Magee said. “I think the biggest thing sometimes when you’re not scoring is just to start getting chances, which we did tonight. It’s obviously good to get two goals, but if we’re a little better, we get four.”
The acquisitions of defender Bakary Soumaré and Magee over the last week and a half prompted owner Andrew Hauptman to call the game a “fresh start” in his halftime address to media members.
Including the Open Cup win Wednesday, Magee has two goals and an assist in his first two games with the Fire (3-7-2, 11 points). Soumaré has solidified a Fire back line that didn’t allow D.C. United a shot on target.
Hauptman acknowledged that both players significantly bolstered the Fire’s lineup, but he suggested the team will be active when the secondary transfer window opens July 9.
“We have to,” Hauptman said. “The record is what it is, and kind of closing our eyes and crossing our fingers and hoping it gets better next week, I don’t think that’s an effective solution.”
The Fire was effective in many facets, but it struggled in possession again. D.C. United dominated possession at 63.2 percent, so the Fire’s priority when the transfer window opens could be a playmaker.