CARSON, Calif. –Mike Magee may no longer be a member of the LA Galaxy, but his contributions to the club during their two consecutive MLS Cup titles will not be forgotten.
Magee was dealt to his hometown Chicago Fire in exchange for Robbie Rogers after citing personal concerns as the reason for a return home. The deal costs the Galaxy their current leading goal scorer with six goals in the MLS Regular Season and a clutch scorer during LA's title runs.
“This entire club has given me everything that I could have ever wished for, including allowing me the opportunity to return to my home of Chicago,” Magee said in an open letter to LAGalaxy.com. “This was not an easy decision for me and my family, but it is what we feel is for the best and I am appreciative to both the Galaxy and the Fire to helping facilitate this request.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admitted that while there was a chance that the deal could have been made without Magee heading to Chicago, the midfielder’s preference is what led to the trade.
“If Mike didn’t want to do this, I would not have done it. [It is] that simple,” said Arena. “I have a long history with Mike and I have the greatest respect for him and his family and his personal concerns. To me, that’s what slants the deal.”
Although Magee will not be suiting up for the Fire, his former Galaxy teammates admit that he’ll be missed.
“We’re all sad to lose Mike. Obviously, professionally, it’s a loss for our team, but personally we’ve all grown to really love Mike, but there’s not many opportunities in sports where something like this happens and it’s great for both parties,” said Landon Donovan. “For Mike, it was a personal decision that I that he’s been hoping for a little while at least, and it’s nice for him to be able to do that.”
“[Magee] is good for the locker room, so he’s certainly going to be missed by everybody, but you have to respect somebody’s decision that for family reasons, he wants to go back home,” said Galaxy captain Robbie Keane. “We wish him well and hope that he can have as much success there as he had with the Galaxy.”
Ultimately, with Magee looking to return home and Rogers seeking to restart his career close to home, the situation worked out for both parties.
“When you look at it from a human being perspective, it was the right decision for Mike, it was the right decision for Robbie,” said Donovan. “For me, all the other stuff doesn’t matter. If the fans don’t like it, I think that they should possibly try to understand the full situation and understand what both people are going through.”