A little magic can take you a long way - Roald Dahl
Just a kid from Elmhurst.
If all you knew of Mike Magee was his Twitter profile, that statement would be all you knew. Luckily, we're Fire fans. We know Magee is not just a kid from Elmhurst. He's magic.
Fire fans saw magic before, whether it was from the feet of Frank Klopas or Ante Razov and certainly in the play of Cuauhtémoc Blanco. But supporters had never seen magic quite like what Magee displayed in 2013.
After starting the 2013 season with six goals in 10 appearances for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Magee found himself on his way home to Chicago after the Fire pulled off a major trade that sent Robbie Rogers to the west coast. Whether it was the inspiration of finally coming home after years away in New York and Los Angeles or just perfect timing, Magee became the best player in the league.
Most supporters fell in love with Magee right away as Magic Mike scored a goal in each of his first four games with the Fire and then registered an assist in the fifth game before scoring again in the sixth. The rampant tear through his first six games was a sign of things to come as he ended the season with 21 goals, four assists and MLS MVP honors.
It was just the beginning of Magee's journey to the Ring of Fire. A hometown kid turned club savior.
2014 seemed like it was going to be another strong year. After failing to register a goal or assist in the first three games, Magee quickly got back on track in the fourth game of the season with a goal and assist. From that point on, he was registering either a goal or assist nearly every other game. After an MVP-worthy performance against Sporting Kansas City in mid-May, nagging injuries would keep Magee out. He returned in July and registered an assist or goal in his first three games back. It was clear when Magee was on the field, the team would produce offense as evidenced by his seven goals in 17 appearances that year.
But then the magic turned tragic.
A serious hip injury took Magee out of action in September 2014. The injury required surgery and kept him out until June 2015. By that time, the team was drowning in turmoil. Tactics weren't working, results barely came and Magee was reduced to a potential substitute most games. Nothing clicked. The magic was gone.
The rehabilitation process was not smooth. The fracture that couldn't heal was the one with the club.
Magic can take you a long way. Magic took Magee to New York and Los Angeles and then it took him home. In a different world, in a fair world, that magic may have been enough to keep Magee home. The magic could have been enough to see his name in the Ring of Fire as it looked destined to become at one time.
But this isn't a fair world. This is a world where things get lost. And sometimes the best way to find what is lost is to retrace your steps.
So Magee goes back to Los Angeles in search of what he once had. He needs to find his magic again and I hope he can, because he is more than just a kid from Elmhurst. He's Magic Mike.