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Magee Scores Two in First Start Since August 2014


Mike Magee rolled back the clock with a vintage performance and a brace to secure the Chicago Fire’s passage through to the last eight of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.

Magee, captain for the night, made his first start since last August after a grueling nine-month spell on the sidelines recovering from hip surgery. Back in the game, he led by example as he showed head coach Frank Yallop, his fellow teammates and fans what they’ve been missing during his extended absence.

A return of two goals from three shots will be the most important takeaway from the 30-year-old’s return to action. But perhaps more significant were the passion and energy he showed in orchestrating and encouraging his teammates, working tirelessly across the frontline to pressure the Charlotte Independence backline.

“The first goal was great, and tying the game in the first half is not all that glorious,” Magee said of his 38th-minute equalizer. “But in the second half, I’m 10 times happier to see Pat on the field, first of all. Then, for him to give me a lay-up, it feels pretty similar to how it was two years ago, when we had that great run. He’s brilliant over there, and for some reason, he always seems to give me the easy goal. So, thanks, Pat Nyarko.”

Yallop offered praise for both players, who have shown remarkable strength, perseverance and discipline to get back to a place where they can contribute to the team once again.

“Adrian Lamb, our fitness guy, many people haven’t seen the work we’ve done together, and more importantly, the work he made me do. Probably half the time, if I was trying to quit, or trying to give him a better idea of what I thought I should do, which was half of what he had planned for me,” Magee said. “If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be playing tonight, let alone finishing 90 and playing well.”

“Mike gave everything he had. He still has a little bit of a catch-up but I think after he scored the second goal, he went over to our fitness coach Adrian Lamb and gave him a hug because he worked very hard to get him back to this point,” Yallop said.

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