Orrin Schwarz of the Chicago Daily Herald is reporting that Chicago Fire forward/midfielder Mike Magee, the reigning league MVP - who was the lone starter unavailable for selection in last night's friendly - is actually holding out from the club for an improved contract.
The club are in full denial mode, with Brian Bliss taking the lead in knowin' just all kinds of nothin'. Schwarz quotes the Chicago technical director as saying Magee has been on leave for 'personal reasons' for '4 or 5 days' but that the team isn't negotiating a new deal with Magee: "No, not at all." Whether that means the club hasn't been approached, or whether such approaches have been made and rebuffed is unclear.
As I wrote nearly three months ago, a holdout was always a possibility for Magee if the club didn't come to the table - his current deal was signed with a resigned grimace as a complementary part of a sleek, well-oiled championship team. Now, he's the reigning league MVP, and a guy whose sense of accountability and swagger visibly lifted a Fire clubhouse in danger of experiencing a lost season in 2013.
Let's be clear: Magee is under contract through 2015. But, if what Schwarz is reporting is true, the Yallop era just received its first significant challenge.
When all offseason you refer to player as #MikeMageeMVP and make him a big part of season ticket pitches, hope Magee got a raise. We'll see.— Tweed Thornton (@Tweed_Thornton) February 24, 2014