Over the last four years, Mike Magee has risen from role player to near-cult hero status with the LA Galaxy faithful, but now the club must decide whether or not to bring back the versatile attacker and by all indications, both sides are working hard to keep him at The Home Depot Center.
Magee ended the 2012 regular season with five goals and four assists in 29 appearances. But true to his reputation for clutch goals, Magee ramped up his production in the postseason with three goals and an assist while starting all six postseason matches.
During his end of the season teleconference call earlier in the month, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena told reporters that the club had issued an a bona fide offer to the out-of-contract 28-year-old attacker.
This development has to please Magee, who recently spoke about how much he has enjoyed his last four years as a member of the Galaxy.
“I love it here, my agent Richard Motzkin would probably be pissed if I spoke about it, but I love it here,” Magee recently told the LA Galaxy Insider. “No matter what happens, whether they don’t want me back or things don’t work out, these have been probably the best four years of my life.”
Even though the wheels already in motion to bring him back to the Galaxy for a fifth season, the veteran admits that there’s no sense in stressing over his future or the future of the club.
“One thing that you learn in this league is right when you think things are normal, they turn out to different,” said Magee. “I think that this year more than most, there are so many uncertainties, but I think in the next couple of weeks there will be a clearer picture.”
My LA Galaxy player evaluations will be on the website by this evening, but if you're curious about my schedule then please take a look at the complete schedule below. These evaluations will be on a "Four Star" scale. The highest rating will be four stars with the lowest rating being a score of zero.
Check out the schedule below...
DEC. 13 – ROWE/LEONARDO
DEC. 14 – CARDOZO/CRISTMAN
DEC. 15 –KEAT/MCBEAN
DEC. 31—Galaxy coaching staff
Three LA Galaxy Homegrown players and one member of the club’s Academy set up were called into the United States Under-20 team for an upcoming camp in Florida on Thursday afternoon.
Jack McBean, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal were named to the squad by U.S. U-20 boss Tab Ramos as well as UCLA and Galaxy Academy defender Javan Torre. The group will depart on Friday for the camp which will take place from Dec. 15-22 in Sunrise, Fla and then return to Los Angeles on Sunday.
Villarreal and Torre were called into the recent Marbella Cup which took place in October, but the call up will be the first for McBean and Sorto under Ramos.
“I never thought that I was going to get called up to the national team and [Tab Ramos] called me up and said that he likes the way that I play and that he expects a lot from me," said Sorto. "Right now, I’m training so I can go to Florida and do my best. It’s great because I know that [the national team] is looking at me. It’s going to be fun.”
Also called up to the team is former Galaxy Academy player Mario Rodriguez, who joined German club FC Kaiserslautern last summer.
Below is the complete Under-20 roster...
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Tomas Gomez (Georgetown; Webster Groves, Mo.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Dakota Edwards (Maryland; Sayville, N.Y.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Unattached; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Holmdel, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Wil Trapp (Akron; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Brandon Allen (Georgetown; Old Bridge, N.J.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Darius Madison (Virginia; Philadelphia, Pa.), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
U.S. International Clint Dempsey was named as Fútbol de Primera's 2012 Player of the Year on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Tottenham Hotspur midfielder defeated Roma midfielder Michael Bradley and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard who finished second and third respectively. Dempsey also took home the honors in 2011.
The award is voted on by 183 journalists from the United States and presented by the Spanish-language radio station which is affiliated with legendary broadcaster Andres Cantor. The award has recognized the best U.S. men's national team player every year for the past 22 years. To be eligible for the honor a player must have played in a minimum of three games for the U.S. team during a calendar year. No player has won the honor -- which was formerly known as the Honda Player of the Year award -- more than Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, who has taken the award a record seven times.
In other news....
*Chivas USA announced on Wednesday that Mexican head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola also known as "El Chelis" will manage the club for the 2013 season. Chivas will be the fourth stop in the well-traveled career of the eccentric 53-year-old head coach. Chivas also swapped allocation spots with the Portland Timbers, trading their second spot in MLS' Allocation order for the third spot and a potential International spot or a second round selection the 2013 MLS SuperDraft should Portland acquire one.
*Portland didn't stop there as the Timbers acquired forward Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Milos Kocic from Toronto FC in exchange for the third overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, goalkeeper Joe Bednik and an undisclosed sum of allocation money.
*Sporting KC continued their offseason overhaul by acquiring defender Ike Opara from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for the club's natural second round draft pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
*The Houston Dynamo locked up four pieces of their back-to-back Eastern Conference Champion side by announcing contract extensions for midfielders Brad Davis and Adam Moffat as well as goalkeepers Tally Hall and Tyler Deric,
*The Montreal Impact re-signed veteran midfielder Justin Mapp.
*Lastly, below is a video of the Mayor of Houston Annise Parker wearing her Galaxy uniform after losing a bet with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaragosa.
On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy signed 18-year-old Salvadoran-American Oscar Sorto to the fourth Homegrown contract in club history.
I spoke to the youngster who discussed his upbringing in South Central Los Angeles as well as the defining moment that put him on a course to become a professional soccer player.
Those weren't the only thoughts from Sorto, however, as I spoke to the 18-year-old on his style of play and his emotions of playing for his hometown club.
Check those out before.
(On his style of play...)
SORTO: "I play a bit more defensive. When I go up [to attack], I make the right decisions. Sean [Franklin] is a great player and I like how he plays so I'm trying to get ideas from him to add to my game."
(On what he's gained from training with the first team for half a year...)
SORTO: "The first thing that they taught me is that you need to be fit. The first two weeks that I was training with them, I wasn't fit so I took that advice. They told me that you need to play faster, make better decisions, think ahead, and be in the right spots all the time. I think that it's really helping me"
(On his general thoughts of signing with the club...)
SORTO: "It feels great. I never thought that I'd sign a professional contract at a young age especially for the Galaxy. I grew up watching them and my dad always told me about Mauricio Cienfuegos so I'm happy."
The MLS Cup may have been 11 days ago, but the reverberations are still being felt across the country.
On Wednesday, the Mayor of Houston Annise Parker donned an LA Galaxy jersey to a city council meeting as part of her bet with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa on the outcome of MLS Cup.
The photo, which was snapped by Houston television reporter Miya Shay is below.
Reports out of Brazil have linked the LA Galaxy with Brazilian International Luis Fabiano as well as a series of starlets from Brazilian club Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian daily newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo has reported the Galaxy are interested in the 32-year-old former Sevilla star to The Home Depot Center on an eight-month loan deal. However, the report goes on to state that Sao Paulo club President Juvenal Juvêncio was not interested in selling the veteran forward due to his team's participation in the Copa Liberatores.
The report also mentions that the Galaxy are interested in bringing in quartet of young Sao Paulo players on loan, in addition to renegotiating a new deal for Juninho.
Other news from around MLS and the world of soccer...
*Keeping up with the Brazilian bent of this post, 1-0 to qualify for the final of the World Club Championship. The Brazilians will play the winner of tonight's match up between Chelsea FC and Monterrey.
*Across The HDC hall, there are a number of question marks as Jose Luis Sanchez aka El Chelis is reportedly the new coach at Chivas USA and Guadalajara legend Adolfo “Bofo” Bautista has told ESPN Deportes that he and a quartet of young Mexican players are on the move to Chivas. Another target is Monarcas Morelia striker Miguel Sabah.
*Danny Mwanga is returning to the Portland Timbers after inking a new deal.
*The Galaxy weren’t the only team inking Homegrown players as the New York Red Bulls signed a pair of Academy players.
*Lastly, I spoke to NASN Radio’s MLS on 30 to recap the Galaxy’s season.
The LA Galaxy season may be over, but starting on Wednesday, I’ll offer an evaluation of each member of the squad.
The evaluations will begin with players who appeared in the least number of games this season starting with third goalkeeper Brian Rowe and concluding with Sean Franklin who played in all 34 of the club’s regular season games. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have two to three evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well, what they need to improve on ahead of next season as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and a rating from myself.
Take a look at this list; odds are that one of these names will be selected by the LA Galaxy in the upcoming 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
On Tuesday, MLS released a list of 54 seniors invited to the MLS Combine. The annual players combine takes place in Lauderhill, Florida from Jan. 11 to Jan. 15. The list will ultimately grow as MLS adds international signings as well as their Generation Adidas class, each of which should be released in the coming weeks.
The combine list included five players from California; those from Southern California are listed in bold and italics.
Last season, Bryan Gaul, Rafael Garcia and Brian Rowe were each on the initial list of seniors with the first two selected by the club while the latter was signed later in the season.
Check out the list below…
GOALKEEPERS: James Belshaw (Duke), Scott Goodwin (North Carolina), Luis Soffner (Indiana), Daniel Withrow (Marshall), Brad Stuver (Cleveland State), David Meves (Akron), Larry Jackson (Santa Clara)
DEFENDERS: Taylor Kemp (Maryland), Danny Wenzel (Wake Forest), Jordan Gafa (North Carolina), Brenton Griffiths (USF), Jimmy Nealis (Georgetown), Tommy Muller (Georgetown), Eric Schoenle (West Virginia), John Gallagher (Penn State), Kofi Opare (Michigan), Joe Franco (CSU-Northridge), Shaun Foster (Hofstra), Andrew Ribeiro (Creighton), Kory Kindle (CSU-Bakersfield), Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (Washington)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Bekker (Boston College), John Stertzer (Maryland), Colin Murphy (Boston College), Jonathan Mendoza (Stetson), Donald Smith (Charlotte), Paolo DelPiccolo (Louisville), Greg Cochrane (Louisville), Leston Paul (USF), Ian Christianson (Georgetown), Carlos Alvarez (UConn), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame), Marc Cintron (Providence), Machael David (UCSB), Paul Wyatt (James Madison), Tommy Nelson (SMU), Uwem Etuk (West Virginia), Jose Gomez (Creighton), Blake Smith (New Mexico), Ryan Hollingshead (UCLA), Fernando Monge (UCLA), Ben Fisk (Washington), Dan Delgado (San Diego)
FORWARDS: Will Bates (UVA), Luke Spencer (Xavier), Ryan Finley (Notre Dame), Ashton Bennett (Coastal Carolina), Don Anding (Northeastern), Yannick Smith (ODU), Devon Sandoval (New Mexico), Emery Welshman (Oregon State), Coleton Henning (Furman), Chris Thomas (Elon), Erik Hurtado (Santa Clara)
The LA Galaxy announced on Tuesday that they have signed 18-year-old defender Oscar Sorto to a Homegrown deal.
The Salvadoran-American right back from South Central Los Angeles becomes the fourth Galaxy Homegrown in club history and the third currently on the club. A talented right back with speed going forward, Sorto has been training with the Galaxy first team since August and was a key contributor to LA's Reserve League squad and the Under-18s.