When Landon Donovan was ruled out for the LA Galaxy’s April 9 match at D.C. United, Bruce Arena had a major hole to fill at left midfield. While the LA manager may have had several options to plug in there, he eventually turned to a familiar face, albeit one that normally plays in a different position.
Mike Magee, who started at forward in the first two games of the season, was charged with replacing Donovan, as a knee inflammation sidelined the US World Cup star against D.C. United and Toronto FC.
“We have a deep team, so we haven’t missed too many beats,” Magee said. “Obviously Landon is a guy you’ll never be able to replace, but the team has done well. Throughout the course of the year, whether it’s been Omar [Gonzalez] or Landon, other guys have stepped in and done their job. That’s what we get paid to do.”
Magee responded to the challenge of playing left midfield by putting in a solid performance against DC. He scored his first goal of the season and helped the Galaxy earn a draw in a match which United equalized late on a disputed penalty.
Against Toronto, Magee was active and helped keep TFC scoreless as the Galaxy picked up another road point.
“It’s good to get a goal and I would have liked to have followed it up by getting another one in the Toronto game,” Magee said. “But it’s a little weight off your back. The first one is always the hardest and hopefully there are more to come.”
Magee stepped in at the start of the season and featured at forward the first two games of the season as the team’s high-profile offseason acquisition, Juan Pablo Angel, was ill and unable to start. After sitting for the next two games, Magee made his return as a left midfielder.
The difference in responsibilities has not been overwhelming for Magee and he’s adjusted fairly quickly to his new role.
“The most noticeable difference is the running,” Magee said. “Stepping in on the left side where Landon’s been playing requires a lot of running, a lot of box-to-box stuff. It’s a little different than I’m used to but it’s been going well. My legs are getting better, I’m getting a bit more fit.”