MLS Ticker: Magee admits surprise at being left off USMNT squad; Sounders to speak with Schmid; and more

Mike Magee Chicago Fire (Chicago FIre)

By DAN KARELL

The top-scoring American in Major League Soccer won’t be playing in Europe with the U.S. Men’s National Team this week.

When U.S. Soccer announced the 23-man roster for friendly matches against Scotland (November 15) and Austria (November 19), Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee’s name was absent from the list, a decision that perhaps was unexpected to him after a career year with the Fire and Galaxy.

“I was a little surprised not to be called in,” Magee told the Fire’s website, though their report stated that he declined to comment further.

In all competitions for the Galaxy and Fire this season, Magee scored 24 goals and added six assists. The 29-year-old has only been called up to the USMNT on three other occasions and was forced to withdraw due to injury in two of them. Magee’s teammate, Sean Johnson, was called into the USMNT squad.

Here are some more stories from around the league:

SOUNDERS GM WILL EVALUATE SCHMID’S PERFORMANCE IN NEXT FEW WEEKS

Seattle Sounders GM and part-owner Adrian Hanauer and majority owner Joe Roth will be meeting soon with head coach Sigi Schmid to evaluate the season’s performance, according to reports.

In an end-of-season conference call with reporters, Hanauer admitted that there was a lot of tension in the final weeks as the Sounders failed to win any of their final seven regular season games, and won just one in their final ten games including the postseason. Hanauer also said it was the most frustrating season for him in his 12 years with the organization.

“Clearly there are going to be a bunch of questions about Sigi and the coaching status … but just like every year in the past, we’ve taken some time after the season ends to decompress a little bit, to catch our breath, to meet and talk through what went well and what didn’t go well, and what the solutions are to what didn’t go well,” Hanauer said, via the Seattle Times.

“This year will be no different: We’re going to go through that process….over the next couple-, three weeks. We’re not in any massive hurry to make quick decisions. We just want to make the right decisions and get things back on track and get our noses to the grindstone to build for next season.”

Hanauer also revealed that the club is likely to negotiate a new contract with Eddie Johnson instead of picking up his club option, which is at a lower salary than the U.S. Men’s National Team forward would like.

GALAXY RESIGN DUNIVANT, COME TO TERMS WITH HUSIDIC FOR NEXT SEASON

It’s only been a few days since the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2013 season came to an end and the team has already been hard at work for next year.

At their end of the year media availability, the Galaxy confirmed that they had signed veteran left back Todd Dunivant to a new contract as well as signing former Chicago Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic for next season. Husidic’s rights were traded to the Galaxy in the deal that sent Mike Magee to the Fire in exchange for Robbie Rogers.

Husidic spent the last two seasons in Sweden with Hammarby, working under the direction of recently hired Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter.

The Galaxy however do have a number of contractual decisions to make this offseason, starting with right back Sean Franklin, who has an option for next season and is currently making nearly $250,000.

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What do you think of these reports? Did you expect Klinsmann to leave Magee off the squad? Do you see the Sounders firing Schmid this offseason? Do you see the Galaxy bringing back Sean Franklin?

Share your thoughts below.

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93 Responses to MLS Ticker: Magee admits surprise at being left off USMNT squad; Sounders to speak with Schmid; and more

  1. Nihal says:

    I think based on this season, Magee should’ve been picked instead of Wondo. If he can impress in January, he might get into the fold however.

    • Hopper says:

      Magee > Wondo

      • Snordo says:

        Not really. Wondo is probably the most skilled player on the USMNT.

        • AcidBurn says:

          Yeah. Wondo is the fastest and most technical. If only he could be a better finisher inside the box.

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          Wondo has a lot of experience, and there is not that much time left to clue Magee into the current system. Also, if you only look at how many goals someone has scored in regular league play, you would certainly have to leave off Dempsey and Altidore. But they are there because they have experience. I would think Magee might be looked at for the future.

          • beachbum says:

            goal scoring is not the only evaluator but it’s one of them when discussing forwards currently not in the fold trying to break in. saying there isn’t time for him to clue into the system doesn’t jive with the Lichay callup. I think it’s more simple than all of that; coach doesn’t rate him yet for a callup. If he did he would, Coach is not bashful in callups or minutes or tactics, etc. Personally would like to have seen him called just to see if he could jive with the group, I think he can.

            when with the Galaxy many said he was a product of the system and players around him…true to some extent but that system and other players also benefitted from him and his game, as did Chicago. He proved a lot this year to the doubters

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          Snordo is a troll just ignore him, on previous page he called MLS sad, like most trolls he doesn’t know enough to comment without whining about soccer in this country.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        Wondo > Mango

    • divers suck says:

      Neither of them will make Brazil 14, so why even bother with them?

      • Nihal says:

        Try em out. It can’t hurt.

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        Injuries and drops in form happen, depth is important. Neither are good bets to make Brazil ’14, nor would either of them likely see much PT. But stranger things have happened.

        • divers suck says:

          Magee is a 29 year old who has never been capped for the senior squad. It seems odd that he’d expect one now with many other far younger players ahead of him in the pecking order.

      • Mwing09 says:

        Lest we forget our striker pool for WC2010? If there is someone who predicted Herc, Buddle, and Findley to all be included one year in advance of the tournament, they deserve a journo job. Injuries and streaks of incredible form happen, might as well try it now instead of days before the WC.

  2. bb says:

    I think Sigi stays. I have a feeling Dempsey will have some influence in this. “Part of the reason I came to this team was because of the good things I heard about Sigi. I wanted him to be my coach. Not some new guy.” That sorta deal. It’s just a hunch. But unless Seattle can get a much more experienced coach that has history dealing with high profile players and the egos that match them, I can’t see Seattle grabbing some new green coach. Besides, do they have the money to get an elite coach anyways? They already need to clear some cap room with Joseph, Oba, Demps, Rosales, Neagle, and Alonso. Money to spend on a better coach may be hard to come by. It’ll be really interesting to see how they handle all of this in the offseason.

    • Nic D "the TX 2 Dtepper" says:

      Did you forget they have Microsoft Money? They could/should go get Bob Bradley if they want him and he wants the job. Also, Rosales and Shalrie have got to go. They would be great pick ups for so many teams. I hope they make a run at an Attacking Mid who can get the ball to Dempsey/Oba/G.A.M.

    • peterjh says:

      I don’t think coach’s salary falls under the cap. Beyond that, money isn’t an issue for the Sounders.

    • The Other Jeff says:

      If he stays, he needs to have a real tactician on staff. Someone who understands possession football and how to work the final third. Sigi has a lot of strong points. Manages personalities and expectations well. Runs a good organization. Keeps everyone focused and on an even keel. But tactics is his Achilles heel.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I’ve historically been a Sigi fan, he won with LA and Columbus (!). Winning more than one place is one of my criteria for a good coach, proves it’s not just a fluke or personnel but something they help control.

      But for whatever reason (turf? personnel choices? coaching?) Seattle has not taken off like expected. If the goal is to improve upon playoffs I wouldn’t leave him curbside for just any other coach — it would need to be Bradley/Arena level or better — but they seem to have plateaued. And they have brought in some serious personnel like Dempsey and not progressed further. They won’t be getting a grass field so the potential changes are dwindling.

  3. P says:

    Magee is delusional.

    • nate says:

      Heh, that was my thought too.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      The guy who has been arguably the best player in MLS this year was hoping for a call up for a friendly. What exactly is “delusional” about that? It seems like a perfectly reasonable hope for him to have. All he said was that he was “a little surprised” not to get the call.

      • smokeminside says:

        Isn’t Klinsmann in touch with these guys, indicating in advance who may be on board or not? Or, do they find out they’re included in the call up at the same time we do, based on some public announcement? If it’s the latter, which I find a little hard to believe, then I can understand his comment, but if it’s the former, he had to know he wasn’t going to be included.

    • Hogatroge says:

      You’d think he would know his shot will come in January, if at all.

      • AcidBurn says:

        This. Magee is going to tear it up in Camp Cupcake and then start and play 75 minutes in whatever who cares friendly at the end of it, and miss 1-2 chances in that ugly game. That will be his cup of coffee.

  4. Ali Dia says:

    Feel bad for Magee. But things would have to get very weird in Brazil for him to see any playing time. He just doesn’t fit anywhere where we are not already stocked.

    • quozzel says:

      Really? The USMNT is not exactly loaded on the wings right now. Zusi, Bedoya, Corona, Shea – they’ve all done OK in spots and not so good in others, but none of them have been a consistent producer and laid definitive claim to a wing spot. Not convinced Magee isn’t better, at this juncture, than those guys.

    • Holden says:

      So how the hell has Shea, Davis, Corona, or even Wondo done any better this year than Magee? Please let me know bud… I have included all of them because he can play left side, up top, or right behind the striker… I would rather him come on for USMNT in the 70+ minute than any of the above.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Holden– I think it would be pretty weird if any of those guys saw the field in Brazil too. Although JK sure likes Shea.

  5. Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

    I’m not saying Magee should’ve been chosen BUT anybody scoring 20 goals in a top 50 league in the world should get a real look with the USMNT. Hell, I remember a few years back people were calling for John Paul Pittman to get a look when he was at M.K.

    That’s right. I hit the way back button.

  6. El Paso tx says:

    Poor Magee, if he starts hot and scores like a machine, he might be a dark horse. One thing about the USA national team, we can actually have the best team in history and make history in Brazil due to the depth the team has, or fail. There is a lot good of players and this USA team will be a scary team to face, tough defense and scary midfield and forwards. Klinsi needs to be smart moves, because Donovan is not the same, Dempsey is in MLS now, altidore is not scoring, but time will tell.
    As for sounders, god let go of sigi. Dempsey speaks fluent English and was born in America, so there is no culture conflict there. As for oba, I don’t see him getting use to sigi and Johnson would take another coach in a beat.
    Sounders need a new coach, new blood and spirit.
    They need a new center defender, new goal keeper and keep Rosales for the mid as a number 10. I also think Alonso needs a team, he kills momentum all the time for sounders and he basically attacks players all the time, risking a red card.
    Sounders should get wynalda, he has the attitude for that team.

  7. Brain Guy says:

    Yikes. Big salaries, big egos, a search for a big-name coach. Sounds like the bad old days at RBNY.

  8. SD says:

    not sure why magee us surprised? the only person that he could’ve replaced is lichaj and we need defenders more….january camp seems more likely….

    • Dennis says:

      In fairness to Magee Wondo’s spot is more open.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Lichaj and Wondo have established track records with the USMNT, even if Wondo’s is more recent.

      Magee has, per the blurb above, been to 1 camp, and it wasn’t anytime recent.

  9. mike barnard says:

    If kling’s can call up alan gorden, he surely should have brought Mike in, this the time to take a look!

  10. Ian says:

    I’m not confident LA will re-sign Franklin, not unless he renegotiates for less money. Yes, his playoff goal was rad, and he played out of position for part of the season, but overall he was somewhat mediocre – at least, he wasn’t $250,000 good.

  11. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    Those Galaxy fans familiar with the issue, why on EARTH did you guys move McGee? Every time I saw the Galaxy play earlier this season, he was hands down their best attacking option. I don’t follow MLS as nearly as much as I should (until playoff time) so forgive my ignorance, but this continues being a head-scratcher for me.

    • GW says:

      My guess would be that Magee is basically the same player as Keane and Donovan.

      Also, it seems that Magee was pushing to leave.

    • Hal says:

      they wanted Robbie Rogers for some reason. And since MLS doesn’t allow teams to sign free agents, they had to trade Magee for Rogers rights, which Chicago owned (even though Rogers never played for Chicago)

    • foo says:

      Magee is from Chicago and requested the trade.

      • Greg says:

        Foo has it right. Magee was going to move whether the Galaxy liked it or not, this was a way to get something for him. Unfortunately Rogers, while a decent player, is not anywhere near the presence Magee brings to the field so it ended up being quite unbalanced.

        I get the age thing, but he should’ve been called for these friendlies. A playmaker is invaluable this time of the cycle and he is MOUNTAINS better than wondo, Not even a discussion.

        • Birgit Calhoun says:

          There is really no need for an extra playmaker. Wondo can make plays, but midfielders are usually the playmakers. Klinsmann has seen with Magee what works and how he works with people he doesn’t know. The thing is a worldcup team needs players that can adjust to whoever the opponent is and whoever he is playing with without adjustment time. Players need to jump into unfamiliar situations and perform in that particular system the coach has set up. And Wondo has that because of his experience whereas Magee doesn’t have that, yet.

      • beachbum says:

        the Galaxy could have accommodated the request after the season tho. how many times to any teams get the chance to threepeat? that trade torpedoed everything seemed to me, never overcame it.

        now out of it

  12. Javier says:

    Magee should have been brought in for the friendlies. He’s a good versatile player that scores goals. He has a good work rate. Clearly he’s proven he’s worth a look at least in the friendlies. Not saying he gets called in to go to Brazil. But JK has looked at so many players why not bring him in and see in camp, and in a game or two how well he works with the other players, if he can score against international competition, and if he’s really good enough to be a national team player.

    I really thought the Sounders had some of hope taking the west. In spite of being a Galaxy fan I would have loved to have seen MLS cup played in Seattle. I think the fan base really deserves a championship game. That said it may be time for Sigi Schmid to go. Bob Bradley could be a good fit if the Sounders can lure him back to MLS. Not sure who else could replace Sigi Schmid though. Don’t know about Wynalda didn’t his team lose a championship game to the Cosmos? Are there any available coaches the could replace Sigi Schmid?

    Sean Franklin is a pretty decent right back and the Galaxy like to play him as a mid-fielder on the right. Personally I don’t think he’s all that good. He gets burnt quite a bit on defense. He makes good runs on the right but seems to make bad decisions when it comes time to passing the ball. It’s probably time for him to go.

    And in my opinion Chicago got the better player in the Magee/Rogers trade. Rogers has got speed but he wasn’t showing much skill in the game against RSL or in too many of the other games I’ve seen him play.

  13. Tom says:

    I hear the last guy to replace Sigi is available.

  14. Tom says:

    Oh and Chicago definitely got the better part of the Rogers/Magee trade.

    • beachbum says:

      the chances for a threepeat left town when Mike went to Chicago. that trade will reek in all Galaxy fans’ noses for a while, like mine

  15. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I don’t see how Sigi stays in Seattle.

    He’s a fine coach, one of the best in the league, but the Dempsey trade really changed the dynamic of that team. I’d be interested to know how enthusiastic he was to bring in Deuce. On the surface it may seem like a no-brainer, but then you need to figure the best way to utilize him in your existing system…that turned out to be much more difficult. It minimized Rosales impact, which was a bad thing, and to some extent minimized the freedom Alonso could have in the midfield. The locker room chemistry turned a little sour towards the end. Would EJ and Martins really go to bat for Sigi? Whomever coaches next season is going to need to run the offense through, and build the team around the 5 million dollar gorilla in the room…easier said than done with Deuce as your primary distributor.

    • Dennis says:

      For all his success in England and the USMNT, Dempsey has never been the guy who makes the team work. He is a great guy to come up with clutch goals, but not necessarily the guy who can bring other players into the game and make them better.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        Completely agree. It would be interesting to survey the coaches in the league to see how they would be best utilize Deuce. What formation or position would he have the greatest impact to the success of the team. I’m guessing most would say drop forward as opposed to a distributing CM.

      • beachbum says:

        agreed, although when played on the wing he is forced to work hard defensively and his overall game and influence and integration improves because of it, my opinion

  16. Travis says:

    Sigi should have been fired the moment he turned in his lineup and it had shalrie in the starting 11

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      At that point it was pure desperation…should have never got to that point. If anything he should be second guessed for taking Rosales out of the line up. That guy creates so much. Towards the end of the season taking Rosales out and prematurely putting in an out of shape and out of form Deuce killed that offense. In fairness to Sigi, there must have been a ton of pressure to get Deuce on the field.

      • Travis says:

        rosales also cant really go for a full 90 consistently anymore, when you play him to much it really shows

      • Big Red says:

        You are right about Rosales but it is Evan’s fault and not Dempsey. It was Schmid’s insistence of playing Brad Evans in the starting 11 at all costs. That meant benching the captain/starting right wing/best player on the team in Rosales. I would have started Dempsey over Evans in a heartbeat.

        And starting Shalrie was not out of desperation. Being down 1 goal when your team clearly dominated the other team is hardly time for desperation. That was ludicrous.

        • chris_thebassplayer says:

          Just curious, did Sigi ever play Rosales as the ACM or least tuck him in when he was outside mid to create under Deuce and EJ up top.

  17. Joemybro says:

    Any chance LA trades Franklin? Like say to a team with a ton of allocation money, a good draft pick, and a desperate need for help on the back line (DCU!!)?

  18. J says:

    Mike Magee… 2009-Present… 127 Games… 34 Goals
    Chris Wondolowski… 2009-Present… 133 Games… 75 Goals

    JK is the coach and sees Wondo being a better option. He is able to scout, converse and determine fit for the team. I am not a fan of Beckerman. Still, the complete change in mentality/approach, from that of Bruce and Bradley, is worth occasionally having to watch Beckerman’s lack of speed and vision at the international level.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      Theoretically there is no real need for speed. In the days when Beckenbauer played the key to winning was positioning yourself on the field so that speed was not the determining factor. Those were the days when people were not nearly as fit. But there were also fewer drugs. That has changed; but speed is still often highly overrated. If players concentrated more on position play, they would not have to tackle and get injured as much and they would not get so worn out.

  19. David M says:

    If Magee were German playing for some team in Luxembourg, I’m sure then he would’ve been called in.

  20. shuttlehead says:

    Reports are that Robbie Keane was also upset about not getting called in.

  21. biff says:

    David JS has a good comment on Magee on the SBI roster thread, and gives a quote from Robbie Keane about not understanding Klinsmann snubbing Magree…

    link to soccerbyives.net

    GW on the same roster thread says rates Magee, but sees his biggest hurdle as being in direct competition with Landon Donovan. After reading these comments, I got to thinking, and it seems clear that there must be some logical reason for the snub and one possible explanation would be Klinsmann’s recruitment of Aron “Bacon” Johannson. If I remember correctly, that was an ongoing saga lasting over a year before Johannson finally rejected Iceland and joined the USMNT. If Magee is in competition with Donovan, then he also would be in competition with Johannson, who some USMNT fans think should be starting ahead of Donovan.

    Is it possible that Klinsmann might have avoided giving a tryout to top MLS player and MVP candidate Magee because Klinsmann feels Johansson is better with more upside potential and did not want to risk rocking the boat and losing him? If Magee did well in a tryout and solidified a spot on the team, then Johansson might have felt his chances of playing time for the USMNT in WC 2014 would be diminished and then have decided to remain with Iceland? Or does Klinsmann simply think that attacking midfielders like Brek Shea who never play for their clubs let alone produce anything for their clubs are bettef suited for the USMNT?

  22. Love it or leave it says:

    Its a shame Magee is already 29

  23. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    I think Magee deserves a shot. I love the season he had, I don’t think he is there, but give him a shot before you cut him, no ?

    Sigi, had his shot. To recap, we knew we couldn’t score in our playoff runs, he gets outcoached in all of them. It is funny the guys that want him to stay, will say all day long that the playoffs are just one or two games, but when it comes down to the win streaks in the middle of the season beating nobody, except one or two games….those seem to prove something ?

    Don’t make sense to me. We are not going to win it all with him….next ?

  24. Ali Dia says:

    Sweet article from the Chicago Tribute on Magee from back when he was 17.
    link to articles.chicagotribune.com