Mike Magee is returning to the LA Galaxy after nearly three years away with just one goal in his mind.
The Galaxy signed the free agent on Thursday returning Magee to Los Angeles after two-and-a-half seasons with the Chicago Fire. The 2013 MLS Most Valuable Player spent nearly five seasons with the Galaxy from 2009 to 2013, helping the club win two MLS Cup titles.
“I’m beyond excited to be coming back and beyond happy that the Galaxy wanted me back. I’m excited to get to work and to see some people that I’m really close with and have a lot of love for,” Magee told LAGalaxy.com. “Getting to play in front of the Angel City Brigade, the Riot Squad, and the Galaxians is an amazing experience, so I’m looking forward to being back.”
Magee returns to StubHub Center after three up-and-down years with the Fire that saw the veteran enjoy the best form of his life before being struck down with injuries. In 2013, Magee caught fire after being traded from the Galaxy to Chicago, scoring 15 times to finish with an overall tally of 21 goals and four assists. His remarkable 2013 season helped Magee become the first Chicago player to win the league’s most valuable player.
After his MVP year, Magee struggled with injuries, making just 17 appearances with seven goals in 2014 and 12 appearances with no goals last season. Now as he prepares to head back to Los Angeles, Magee is eager to get back to his best.
“Motivation has never been a problem with me, but I can definitely say that I’m more motivated now than I’ve ever been. I’m not 100 percent fit and healthy, but I’m dedicating my life to change both of those things,” Magee said. “I know that we have a lot of work to do, and I’m going to do it. I’m excited to get back with the Galaxy’s medical staff, which is second to none. I’m ready to get started.
“Right now, I’ve been working on strength and fitness. I haven’t played soccer in what feels like a couple of years. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t see injuries as being a problem for me this year, but I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena agrees that Magee will need to get fit before he can contribute in 2016, but when he does, Arena expects plenty of the old magic from his old stalwart.
“His ups in Chicago were that he was the league MVP and his downs were that he was recovering from surgery that limited his time on the field last year,” Arena told LAGalay.com. “We’ve looked at him lately, and he’s physically fine. This preseason, we need to be careful with him, but Mike is a guy who can play a variety of positions for us.
“He’s a good attacking player, a good experienced player who understands how to play on both sides of the ball. He can score goals, he can set up goals, and he’s invaluable with his skillset. I think that he’s a great addition to our team.”
And whatever Arena asks, Magee is ready to do.
“I’m just going to come in and work my ass off. The Galaxy have some incredible players, and I’m excited to work with these guys every day. I think that Bruce is someone that’s good at finding the right pieces of the puzzle,” said Magee. “I trust him, so I just need to be strong and fit, and we need to play our best soccer. I just want to win. If he wants to play me at center back or center forward, I’ll play wherever. I’ll do whatever Bruce wants. I just want to win.”