CARSON, Calif. – He’s at it again.
Veteran LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee, who seemingly has a knack for scoring big goals in the biggest moments, has been up to his old tricks as the defending MLS Cup champions have advanced to the two leg, aggregate goal Western Conference Championship against Seattle Sounders FC. The series begins Sunday at The Home Depot Center (6 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes, 1150 AM, 1220 AM, LIVECHAT).
The 28-year-old, who always seems to give the team a lift when it needs it the most, scored the only goal in the Galaxy’s season-ending 1-0 victory over Seattle on Oct. 28. He then scored the game-tying goal in the 69th minute of a Knockout Round game against Vancouver four days later and scored the eventual series-winning goal in Wednesday’s resounding 3-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in the second leg of their Conference Semifinal Series.
If that’s not enough, the Galaxy are 21-3-7 in all competitions when he scores and has an assist.
Since joining the club in 2009, Magee has 23 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. Seven of those goals have come in the postseason, in addition to two goals in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League, one in the U.S. Open Cup and 13 in the regular season.
“That’s the qualities of a good player,” head coach Bruce Arena said of Magee, who originally was acquired from the New York Red Bulls on Jan. 14, 2009 in exchange for a second round draft pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. “He’s always been a player that’s been good in and around the penalty area. When he gets a look at the goal, he’s pretty good at getting his shots on the frame. That’s half the battle of scoring. If you can’t hit the goal the likelihood of scoring is diminished greatly.”
READ: Arena on Sounders, Magee
Magee said he has no idea why he always appears to be in the right place at the right time.
“Good question. I don’t know,” he said Friday. “As a team, we tend to get up for these games, create more chances, get goals when we need to. Teams try to buckle down on Robbie (Keane) and Landon (Donovan), Edson (Buddle) and David (Beckham) and they tend to forget about me, which has been working pretty well the last couple of years.”
He said he doesn’t know why opponents tend to overlook him – he’s generously listed as 5-foot-10 in the Galaxy’s media guide – and, frankly, doesn’t care.
“I don’t know why,” he said. “I don’t care why the ball goes in or why we’re winning. I don’t care why this team plays the way we do.”
All he cares about, he said, are victories, like Wednesday’s triumph over the top-seeded Earthquakes.
“You have no idea,” he said when asked how satisfying it was to beat the Earthquakes on their home field, Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara.
“As much as I wanted to win, I wanted them to lose. They’ve been a team that came back on us three times this year and their fans had a lot to say about our team. It would have been such a bad feeling standing there watching them celebrate.
“It was great.”