January 4, 2017
ONE LESS MEMBER OF THE 3 AMIGOS
Ex-Red Bull Mike Magee, 2013 MLS MVP, retires from soccer at 32
By Michael Lewis
|Mike Magee: “I have been fortunate to enjoy an incredible 14-year career in Major League Soccer. It has been an honor to represent the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire and the LA Galaxy."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
LA Galaxy forward Mike Magee, one of three teenagers chosen by the MetroStars in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, has decided to call it a career. He announced his retirement from the game Wednesday at the age of 32.
One of the "Three Amigos," Magee earned MVP honors during the 2013 Major League Soccer season with the Galaxy and Chicago Fire, which was a personal high point of a 14-year career.
Eddie Gaven retired at the age of 27 in 2013. That leaves Houston Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark as the only player since active, at 33.
"The last 14 years will keep a smile on my face forever #ThankYou," Magee said on twitter.
In a statement on the Galaxy website, Magee said: “I have been fortunate to enjoy an incredible 14-year career in Major League Soccer. It has been an honor to represent the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire and the LA Galaxy and to be a part of a league that continues to grow so rapidly in this country. I am extremely thankful to everyone that has supported, inspired and guided me on and off the field throughout my time as a professional. I look forward to the next step in this journey as a spend time with my family and friends.”
Magee was 18 when he was drafted. MetroStars head coach Bob Bradley wanted Magee so much that he traded highly touted midfielder Brad Davis to the then Dallas Burn for the fourth spot in the draft.
The Elmhurst, Ill. native finished his career having performed in 316 MLS matches while scoring 70 goals and recording 38 assists. He never did reach his true potential first with the MetroStars, who were rebranded the Red Bulls in 2006. After he was dealt to LA, Magee blossomed. His Galaxy teams earned two MLS Cups (2011, 2012) and two Supporters Shields (2010, 2011).
“Mike has been an incredible member and representative of the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer as a whole,” Galaxy president Chris Klein said in a statement. “As a teammate and friend, I thank Mike for everything he has done for the city of Los Angeles and the sport of soccer in this country throughout his career. He will be greatly missed on the field and we wish him the best in the next stage of his career. He will always be a member of this club.”
Several months after he took over the coaching reins, MetroStars head coach Bob Bradley rebuilt the team and wound up securing three of the top 12 spots in the 2013 SuperDraft.
After D.C. United grabbed University of Virginia forward D.C. United as the No. 1 pick, Bradley tabbed the 19-year0old Clark, from Furman University, as the second choice. After the Fire made University of Portland forward the third selection, the MetroStars took Gaven, then the youngest player taken in the draft (16 years, two months) as the 12th overall pick.
"When I first started watching Mike when he was 14-years-old, the thing that stood out was Mike was still somebody who had just pure goal-scoring ability," Bradley said in 2013. "He scored all types of goals. I believe at one point his Soccers team they might have won the Dallas Cup. Six games in the Dallas Cup -- I don't know the exact number -- he might have scored 12 goals. He was always a good finisher. He knew how to position himself. He's a smart player and he had just this way of knowing how to score goals. That's something that's rare."
Magee scored seven goals in 29 games, which included 19 starts in his rookie season with the MetroStars, which some observers to think he was going to add to that annual total season by season, but it did not work out that way.
"Then there were some years when . . . it didn't come quite as easily, at a time when some people were starting to give up on Mike," Bradley said. "He got a real good opportunity out in LA and since then he has taken advantage. When you speak of Mike, it's the same thing. He's a smart player, just an incredible knack of finding space in the box. He can score different kinds of goals -- left foot, right foot -- He's not big, but he still scores goals;with his head. He just has unique qualities around the goal. When you play in training, if the goals get pushed in close, you'll always see Mike just finding a way to score different kinds of goals every training session.
"It took a little time -- he had this initial good year -- it was still good for a few years -- but getting to the next step, maturing, becoming a little bit better professional, it took a little bit more time for Mike, but I think you see all of it now."