The LA Galaxy have some stars. They are bedazzled with whimsical attackers and stout defenders. Not even Robbie Keane’s injury could keep the offense down. With the Irishman injured, the Galaxy have still managed to score nine goals in their past two games, toppling Real Salt Lake, who had been undefeated, 5-2.
It’s easy to pick out the main players. Gyasi Zardes. Giovani Dos Santos. Steven Gerrard, Nigel De Jong. These are the guys that are paid the big bucks because their names pop. And to their credit, they have been popping on the pitch as well. Ten of LA’s 17 goals come from those four names and Robbie Keane.
But the forgotten man, per say, has to be Mike Magee, who himself as three goals (as many as Dos Santos) and an assist. Magee is ever-present in the LA starting XI, making six starts and a substitute appearance. He has played more minutes than any other offensive player other than Gyasi Zardes. That’s saying something.
Magee had one standout performance against D.C. United when he scored two goals and added an assist in just 45 minutes of play. But his abilities can be seen throughout the season. It’s not like he was a one hit wonder. He never has been.
No attacking player for the LA Galaxy takes more shots than Magee. Only Steven Gerrard and Sebastian Lletget create more chances than Magee, and it’s by a fraction. His presence is always felt and his mind is always working.
Then there is the matter of ball control. Magee is only dispossessed 0.7 times per appearance. That is half as often as Zardes and less often than even the Lawnmower, Nigel De Jong, who protects the ball like a mother bear protects her young.
Magee simply plays a very direct style of play that is not easy to stifle. He isn’t a magician on the ball, as he doesn’t attempt many fanciful dribbles, but the results speak for themselves. This is something that Magee has made a habit of throughout his career, so long as he can stay on the pitch.
What makes it all the more impressive is that Magee does not know where he is going to be fit into the formation on any given week. He has played five different positions this year, from striker to wide midfielder. Only at right midfield has he made two appearances.
It’s like he is the ultimate utility man. Wherever he moves, the quality remains the same. He is the American Isco.
Many players rely on the position they play to provide them with the stability they need to build a healthy and productive season. But not Magee. Wherever he plays is just fine.
Magee also has a penchant for being clutch, as he has scored eight goals in 15 career playoff appearances with LA. It’s easy to see why the Galaxy wanted him back.