Fire’s Mike Magee keeps scoring streak in perspective
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media June 25, 2013 8:57PM
Mike Magee, Jalil Anibaba
Updated: June 25, 2013 9:06PM
Though it might be sobering for those caught up in the Mike Magee craze to be reminded that he won’t score in every game, the Fire forward certainly has thought about his approach when that becomes reality.
Since joining the Fire, Magee has scored in all six games he has played. And there’s nothing to say he won’t extend the streak Wednesday against Orlando City SC in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Park.
But should the streak come to an end Wednesday, Magee will channel the advice of former teammate Robbie Keane, a forward with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
‘‘He honestly never cared if he was scoring or not,’’ Magee said. ‘‘His whole thing was about creating chances and his movement, and he believed in his finishing ability. I’ll take that page out of his book. I’m sure I’ll go six games without scoring, so it’s not anything I’m worried about. I’ll be worried if I’m not creating chances, not moving, not fighting. Those are the things I really concentrate on.’’
When the Fire traded for Magee, it looked as though the team might be getting fleeced. The Fire acquired Magee from the Galaxy for the Major League Soccer rights to Robbie Rogers, who has been a member of the U.S. national-team pool.
Magee had shown some ability to score, but he never was as prolific as he has been this season. His best season came in 2003, when he scored seven goals as a rookie. While with the Galaxy, Magee was viewed as a solid player who benefitted from the presence of players such as Keane and Landon Donovan.
With the Fire, though, Magee has been the catalyst for a once-anemic offense and has proved to have the ability to lead a team on his own.
‘‘This guy played many games without [Keane and Donovan],’’ Fire coach Frank Klopas said. ‘‘Of course, they are quality players. You play with them, they help out. But there were many games that we saw where those guys were not in with the team, and Mike continued to find ways to make the team better.’’