CARSON, Calif. – When Mike Magee joined the LA Galaxy via a trade with the New York Red Bulls in 2009; he was just a young kid of 24. Four years later, Magee has blossomed grown up before all our very eyes.
In his four seasons with LA, Magee has helped lead the Galaxy to back-to-back MLS Cup titles and three MLS Cup appearances in four years while playing a key role for head coach Bruce Arena’s squad.
Heading into his fifth season with the club, Magee is seeking to build on yet another phenomenal season that saw him tally nine goals –three in the postseason—and five assists in all competitions. During LA’s first preseason match of the year last Friday, Magee was quick to return to his scoring ways tallying the first goal in LA’s 5-0 rout of the U.S. Under-17 national team.
While Magee’s clutch goals have provided plenty of lift for the Galaxy in recent years, he’s hoping to play a large role in the locker room this preseason particularly after the departure of midfielder David Beckham.
“You got to get your mind right. As I get older, you start to remember all the times that you didn’t want to train and you look at a guy, a veteran like David who has been there in the past. He’s always set the tone and you see the professionalism that he gives day in and day out and the competitiveness,” said Magee. “When he’s not here, then you need to make up for that. Obviously, I’m not claiming to step into his shoes, but myself and a couple of other guys, we can collectively try to bring that and show the young guys what we were shown when we got here.”
And there is no shortage of players who will need Magee's guidance.
Over the offseason, Arena acquired several young attackers -- particularly first round draft pick Charlie Rugg and Homegrown signing Gyasi Zardes— who fit Magee's versatile mold as combination wingers and forwards. With Beckham gone and captain Landon Donovan still away from the club, Magee is seeking to provide whatever guidance that he can to LA’s young talent.
“I try to drop lines to all the young guys because since I got here, that’s what guys have done to me. So whenever I have the chance then I’m going to do it,” said Magee. “Bruce and the coaching staff have done a good job getting some young kids who are good athletes and good players so when you look around; you see a lot of bright futures.”
Magee may be one of LA’s veterans now and ready for the responsibilities that come with the title, but he admits that he’s not ready to be called a veteran just yet.
“I’m still not completely there yet,” he said with a laugh. “It’s still kind of new because guys like David did so obviously I haven’t completely transitioned into that role, but it’s easy to realize that someone has to pick up some of that slack and I think I can help with that.”