On The Field With The L.A. Galaxy's Mike Magee
In 2009 Mike Magee, the 26-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy forward, led the team with six assists. He has even higher aspirations this year. Between a training session and a big game against the rival New York Red Bulls (which they lost 2-0), Magee spoke about his life off the field and his hopes for the current season.
Sotoodeh: What are your thoughts on making the playoffs?
Magee: Making the playoffs is obviously a good accomplishment, but I think last year making it to the final and losing—I think our goal is to get back to the final and win it.
Sotoodeh: How do you mentally prepare for the big game?
Magee: You gotta get up for it. We’re in first place right now so we have to match the intensity of the other team or they will come and beat us. We just beat them in New York on their field, so they have a little bit of a grudge against us and might want to beat us in ours.
Sotoodeh: Are you superstitious?
Magee: No, I’m not superstitious but then again I think I intentionally don’t do things the same so maybe that’s my superstition.
Sotoodeh: What do you think of the current state of professional soccer in the United States?
Magee: It’s getting better every year. I think the new expansion teams coming in, raising the bar and selling lots of season ticket holders—I think the league is going in the right direction.
Sotoodeh: Describe a typical day of a Galaxy player.
Magee: You wake up around 8 a.m., get here around 9:15, get a workout in, train from 10 to usually noon, and then meetings. After lunch, I go home and watch a movie or something—it’s a nice day.
Sotoodeh: What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
Magee: I think the day in and day out pressures. If you have a 9-to-5 job, you usually get a weekend to unwind but here games are on Saturday. When one game ends, you automatically focus on the next one. I think in terms of not getting much of a break mentally is probably the hardest part. And being away from your family. My family lives in Chicago, so it’s tough leaving them behind.
Sotoodeh: How old were you when you decided you wanted to pursue a career in soccer?
Magee: I signed pro when I was 17, so I think not too long before then. It became a realization when I was 15—that I might have a chance—so right then I decided I wanted to do it. When I had the opportunity to turn pro, it was a no-brainer.
Sotoodeh: What are you most excited about?
Magee: Right now, the playoffs. But it’s tough. We want to get the Supporters’ Shield, which is the most points. Whenever the playoffs start, there’s a new vibe in the locker room. It brings a new intensity, so I’m looking forward to that.
Sotoodeh: What are some of your best experiences as a LA Galaxy player?
Magee: I think we have a great group of guys and coaches. It’s fun coming out here in LA. And it can’t hurt with the weather, living on the West Coast.
Sotoodeh: Do you follow any other sports in LA besides soccer, like the Dodgers, Kings, or USC football?
Magee: Chicago teams. I follow Notre Dame—we play against USC. But I also follow the Chicago Bears, the Blackhawks and the Cubs.
Sotoodeh: How about the most memorable moments with the Galaxy?
Magee: I think last year with the finals, even though it left a bad taste in our mouths losing. I scored a goal in the game and that was pretty memorable. I don’t think that memory is the best one because we lost but it’s probably my strongest memory.
Sotoodeh: Any funny moments on the field?
Magee: Oh man…I don’t know. The only ones I have I don’t think I’ll say. I’ll pass on that question for sure.
To reach reporter Sarah Sotoodeh, click here.
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