CARSON, Calif. – Mike Magee was never a go-to scorer this season. Fellow LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle took care of filling the nets.
But when Buddle was at his hottest, Magee was on the field.
After a solid opening stretch of games, however, injuries and a drop of form hampered Magee and relegated him to bench duty. But lately, Magee has re-emerged in the starting lineup. He could make his third consecutive start on Sunday when the Galaxy host Seattle in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals (6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET, ESPN), and he says the team is ready.
“We’ve just got to keep winning,” Magee said. “Hopefully I keep playing but hopefully we keep winning. That's all that matters at this point.”
It's been an up-and-down season for Magee. He started the first five games of the season before missing three consecutive games. He returned for three more games, and picked up his only goal of the season in doing so.
But a hernia injury forced him to travel to Germany for an operation in June. He returned in time to play against New York on Aug. 14 but was in and out of the lineup until he started against FC Dallas on Oct. 24.
And now Magee is back, healthy and fighting for his team at the most important part of the season.
“I fell out of favor for a little while but I was always kind of in the mix,” he said. “He was always talking to me and my fitness kind of wasn’t there coming back from surgery. I have to admit, I wasn’t playing my best but whatever role I play right now I’m starting and I’ll be ready. I’m more than happy to play.”
Magee went the distance in the first leg at Qwest Field. While he did not score as he did in the Galaxy’s last postseason match in Seattle – in MLS Cup ’09 – Magee battled and won balls, freeing up Buddle to be his dangerous self. It was no surprise, then, that Buddle scored.
“It was huge for Edson to get that goal," Magee said. “They were kind of getting the better of us at the time. Our defense was still doing good, not giving them any chances but to get that goal, we were able to sit back, keep a zero, defend with more guys and not have to worry about getting a goal.”
Seattle’s offense will likely start Sunday’s match charged and concentrated.
“They're going to battle,” Magee said. "They're a really intense team. They have guys who can beat you with speed and they have a lot of big guys and they play hard. We have to at least match that. We're playing out our place and sometimes it's dangerous. If you treat it like you're winning 1-0, they'll completely just gain momentum so we've got to at least match their intensity and we've got to get that first goal.”
Holding a 1-0 aggregate lead is nice, Magee said, but will mean little once the match starts.
“We know the job's not even close to being done so we're expecting a battle on Sunday,” Magee said. “We'll be ready.”
The Galaxy are ahead 1-0 on aggregate goals in the series and host Seattle in the second game of the two-leg, home-and-home Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, November 7 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. BUY TICKETS
With a win or tie on Sunday, they will host the Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, November 14 at 6 p.m. BUY TICKETS