Mike Magee said he was quieter than normal last Sunday when he sat down for a long chat with US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, evidence of the lingering food poisoning that forced him to miss the previous day's game against South Korea – his would-be national team debut.
Despite feeling under the weather, the Chicago Fire forward came away from the chat with a positive outlook.
“It was all positive,” Magee told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “I'm just unfortunate I missed a game that I thought would have showed him what kind of player I was. You can only show so much in training, so I missed that opportunity. But there's no looking back now. All I can do now is perform with the Fire, which I intended to do anyway.”
Throughout his 11-year career, Magee has learned to ride the ups and downs that come with being a professional. He's dealt with injuries, national team snubs and trades. But he tries not to worry about what he can't control.
He was in no position of control after eating tainted food that Friday when it quickly became clear that he would miss the only game of the January camp, his first with the senior team after a nine-year absence. His last national team camp was cut short by an injury.
“It hit me pretty quick,” Magee said. “Once I realized I couldn't even stand up without struggling, it wasn't even a possibility. When I first got sick there wasn't even a possibility in my head that I would miss the game, and then pretty quickly after that I realized that it's hard to play if you can't stand up.”
Klinsmann insists Magee's national team chances aren't over with this summer's World Cup fast approaching, telling media that the 29-year-old “knows that the door is open to him.”
While he insists that he doesn't feel a heightened sense of pressure after his 21-goal MVP season in 2013, Magee knows scoring goals with the Fire is the best argument he can make to earn a spot in Brazil this summer.
“Honestly I haven't [felt extra pressure],” Magee said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. Even the last couple of years, I've been pushing myself to be a better pro and a guy that young guys to look up to. So that won't be a big issue. I'm well aware that you can't score 20 goals every year.”