BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Surrounded by a multitude of probing journalists, just 20 minutes after missing the penalty-kick that would have given the Chicago Fire their first victory of the season, Mike Magee was understandably downbeat in his reflections on his side’s 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Union.
The reigning Major League Soccer MVP put the Fire in front in the 16th minute when he instinctively slotted home a perfectly centered cross from fellow striker Quincy Amarikwa for his first goal of the season.
That was his first strike in the three appearances he has made after missing the opening two games with a hamstring injury, and there is no doubt the Chicago native is looking sharper and sharper with every game. But rather than focus on the elation he felt after putting the hosts ahead in front of 12,699 at Toyota Park, Magee considered what might have been.
“I don’t want to think about that too much,” he admitted. “I had a pretty sweet opportunity to be a hero, but it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.”
The Fire are now 0-1-4 in their opening five games as Frank Yallop’s men still await their first win, but Magee believes he and his teammates are heading in the right direction.
“You need to win at home in order to be a successful team,” the 29-year-old acknowledged. “I hate to lose more than I love to win. It’s pretty clichéd, but as long as we are not dropping these games at home I feel that the direction we are going is headed towards winning.”
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Magee also believes that their first win will come soon and that his team’s efforts on the playing and practice fields will soon translate into victories.
“Sometimes when you squeak out these games you don’t deserve to win, it’s unjust, but at the moment we deserved to win, we deserved three points," he insisted. "We’re not getting it, but I feel like it’s going to translate into wins soon.”
However, Magee’s well-struck effort was superbly saved by the acrobatic Zac MacMath, and the Union ’keeper reacted quickly to smother Magee’s rebound, too.
“The first win is the hardest, I feel the longer you go without winning the confidence goes down, and playing becomes harder,” Magee added. “Sometimes when you’re winning, the game becomes so easy. The first one would have been perfect tonight, but the stars weren’t aligned for us to get the win.”