Galaxy fans might remember perhaps the biggest goal of Mike Magee’s career even better than he does.
The goal in question -- a remarkably cool finish off a Galaxy buildup that gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead at the half of the 2009 MLS Cup -- isn’t even one Magee remembers with great clarity now, just six months removed from that historic night in Seattle.
“It was a cool moment," Magee recalled. "I vaguely remember it. If we would have won, it would have been a lot greater. If we won, you get to keep thinking about it and relishing it. But if you lose, the goal doesn't really matter as much.”
RSL went on to beat the Galaxy in last year’s MLS Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw, as Yura Movsisyan equalized and made Magee’s goal a mere footnote in MLS Cup history.
Magee and the Galaxy are looking to enact some revenge Saturday night, when they play host to RSL at the Home Depot Center.
Playing Real Salt Lake in the fourth game of the season carries with it considerably less weight than playing RSL with the league title at stake, but a win this week would be meaningful nonetheless.
“There’s a bad taste in our mouth from last season because they’re the team that beat us,” Magee said. “This is a new year and we have a goal to win it this year, and obviously they're a really good team and a team that's going to stand in our way. If we can get three points against them, it would be a little bit of revenge, but more so getting points for this year.”
Magee has yet to score a goal for the Galaxy, thanks in large part to the 2010 Edson Buddle Show. Buddle has scored all five of the Galaxy’s goals, and the defense has responded with three shutouts as the Galaxy are a spotless 3-0-0.
“If [Buddle] keeps scoring like that, no,” Magee said about feeling pressure to score. “We don't care where the goals come from. Landon [Donovan] hasn’t even scored yet, so obviously I don’t feel too much pressure on myself. We've won two games two-nil and the first game we had every chance in the world to make it two-nil. There is no pressure from anyone anywhere.”
Magee has played in the midfield and floated up top during games, and was involved on the play that set up Buddle’s second goal in a 2-0 win at Houston last week.
With a healthy Buddle cleaning up in front of the net, the rest of the team’s task is easier.
“Last year he wasn't healthy at all,” Magee said. “Even when he was playing, there were a lot of nagging injuries and he never really got a chance to get fit. This year he has a new mentality and fit and he's going to keep scoring goals.”
If Buddle scores 100 percent of the team’s goals but the Galaxy continue winning, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
“This is a group that's been together," Magee said. "Everyone knows their role, and we'll take wins however we can get them.”