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"Magic" Mike Magee Keeps Scoring, L.A. Galaxy Keep Winning

Omar Shamout |
November 12, 2012 | 10:07 a.m. PST

Senior Sports Reporter

"Magic" Mike Magee celebrates another playoff goal. (Robert Mora/LA Galaxy)
"Magic" Mike Magee celebrates another playoff goal. (Robert Mora/LA Galaxy)
CARSON, Calif. – L.A. Galaxy forward Mike Magee is living up to his new nickname.

Some around the club are beginning to refer to him as “Magic Mike” thanks to his knack for scoring in the playoffs, which he did again tonight.

The 28-year-old forward knocked home the second goal in LA’s 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Western Conference finals at the Home Depot Center.

Last night’s resounding victory gives the Galaxy a commanding lead heading into Sunday’s second leg at a sure-to-be rocking Century Link Field in Seattle.

Magee has now scored in three out of four playoff games, including the series clincher at San Jose on Wednesday in the Galaxy’s 3-1 win in the semifinals.

He also notched the only goal in the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle in the regular-season finale. 

Chicago-native Magee is part of an L.A. Galaxy roster loaded with international experience. The club’s American players alone have a combined 160 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Of the non-Americans, David Beckham has 155 for England and Robbie Keane a "mere" 122 for Ireland, respectively.

And how many does playoff-hero Magee have? None.

While he may not have gotten a national team call up just yet, Magee continues to score when it matters most for the Galaxy.

His regular season goal tally is nowhere near as prolific, however. Magee scored only four goals in 29 regular-season appearances this season and has 17 total during his four years in LA. 

Compare that with his eight goals in 15 playoff games for the Galaxy and you begin to understand where he got his nickname.

In advance of Sunday’s game, Magee said one reason for his playoff proficiency might be that opponents are busy paying attention to the Galaxy players who have racked up those international starts.

“Teams try to buckle down on Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan], Edson [Buddle] and David (Beckham),” Magee told LAGalaxy.com. “They tend to forget about me, which has been working pretty well the last couple of years.”

He was quick to credit two of those players with last night’s dominating second-half performance that saw the Galaxy score twice and create numerous chances in front of goal.

“Landon and Robbie were phenomenal,” Magee said, adding that LA’s defensive line made it possible for the forwards to break quickly on the counter attack.

“It makes it so much easier when every ball [Seattle] tries to lump forward and every cross they hit is eaten by our back four and our goalie.”

As for his own play, Magee could come up with no other way to explain his extraordinary scoring run.

“I got nothing -- absolutely nothing,” he smiled.

Donovan, who accounts for 144 of those international caps, agreed with Magee’s assessment of how he finds himself in the right place at the right time during games. 

“He puts himself in good positions,” Donovan told the club website. “A lot of us understandably draw some attention and he gets a chance to get open … He makes plays and that’s what makes him dangerous.”

Donovan added that Magee's value to the team is undeniable, calling him and Keane the team’s “two best finishers” in front of goal.

“There are certain players this time of year that play at a different level and Mike is one of them,” Donovan said. “When you have players like that on your team, it gives you a better chance to win.”

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena elaborated on what makes Magee such a confident scorer.

“He’s always been a player that’s been good in and around the penalty area,” Arena told the Galaxy website. “When he gets a look at the goal, he’s pretty good at getting his shots on the frame.”

The numbers prove just how much Magee means to the Galaxy. When he scores a goal or gets an assist, the Galaxy are 19-3-7 in all competitions.

Last year, Magee scored three goals in the team’s run toward an MLS championship, earning a start in every match.

The forward joined L.A. in 2009 from New York at a bargain rate. L.A. only had to give up a second-round draft pick in the following year’s MLS Super Draft. 

Magee rewarded the Galaxy by showing off his late-season heroics early in his stint with the team.

He scored twice in the team’s four playoff games in 2009 before coming up with the lone Galaxy goal in the MLS Cup against Real Salt Lake. 

That tense match came down to an overtime penalty shootout. Magee converted his penalty, while Donovan and Buddle did not. 

The Galaxy lost, 5-4.

If L.A. plays the same way they did last night next Sunday in Seattle, overtime won’t be necessary. 

In fact, Magee said there’s no team in the league that can stop the Galaxy when they’re in this type of mood.

“I doubt it,” he said. “I think when we’re in really good form, we’re hard to stop.”

After making that bold claim, Magee pointed out that the Galaxy haven’t always played as well as they did last night.

“We’ve already been stopped by this team twice in Seattle, so I don’t want to be proven wrong.”

If both Houston and the Galaxy can hold their first-leg leads, L.A. could potentially take that momentum into a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup at the Home Depot Center. 

The Galaxy won that match, 1-0.

If D.C United beat Houston in the Eastern Conference finals, then DC would host the MLS Cup at RFK Stadium.

Magee said the Galaxy can’t concern themselves with playing in front of their home fans for the trophy.

“We’d love it, but if we start thinking about that, then we won’t be in that game.”

And what does Magee think about his new nickname? 

“Luckily, I haven’t seen that movie,” Magee said. “I’m sure there’s some guys in the locker room who have seen that movie – not me,” he laughed.


Reach Senior Sports Reporter Omar Shamout via email or follow him on Twitter.



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