BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The introduction is still in process for Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee and his offensive teammates, even after he scored his second goal in two games with his new club in a 2-0 win over D.C. United on Sunday evening at Toyota Park.
Not all of his runs were in perfect concert with his teammates' passes, and his running mates weren't always able to place the ball in his preferred spots. But Magee wasn't shy about directing his new teammates.
“He reads the play before it happens,” midfielder Patrick Nyarko said. “Whether it's signals or yelling your name, when he does that, you automatically know what he wants you to do. Before the game, at half time, talking to everyone about what he thinks he sees and what he thinks they should do.”
After a relatively uneventful first half, Magee had plenty of chances late as D.C. pushed for the equalizer. He finally broke through in the 85th minute after Nyarko made a run down the sideline and played a ball to a wide-open Magee.
Magee said he's still working on playing next to a player with Nyarko's pace.
“It's hard getting used to speed,” Magee said. “I'm not fast, so I can't relate at all. Any time I can see a step early to know when he's going to get behind, as soon as I could see he was going to get behind, I just took off. He laid me a great ball, and I would be dumb not to finish it.”
But even as the assimilation process continues, Magee has brought the Fire something they didn't possess.
His first regular season goal immediately puts him in second place on Chicago's scoring list, and his seven regular season goals equals his teammates' combined goal total.
“You saw the quality that he has, the leadership that he brings on the field,” coach Frank Klopas said. “He's just very smart, the way he moves on the field. He wants the ball in difficult spots, and he always seems to be in the right [spot] at the right time.
"He's a quality player who I think is going to make our team a lot better," Klopas added. "You saw that a little tonight. I know as he gets a little bit more familiarized with the group of players that we have, it's even going to be better.”