KANSAS CITY — For the second time in league history Americans have claimed back-to-back Major League Soccer MVP honours after the Chicago Fire’s Mike Magee was announced Thursday as this year’s top player.
Ironically, Jason Kreis, who will manage Real Salt Lake in Saturday’s final here in Kansas City, and Tony Meola, who once competed played between the pipes for Kansas City, completed the task in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
Magee follows San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, last year’s winner.
The Bradley Cooper look-alike (Don’t believe me? Look at them side-by-side) tallied 21 goals and four assists through 32 starts between the L.A. Galaxy and Chicago this season.
Although he provoked the trade, Magee’s mid-season move from Tinseltown to the Windy City is widely seen as the most lopsided player-for-player deal in MLS history.
For Magee’s services, Chicago sent Robbie Rogers back the other way, a deal that didn’t exactly pan out for the Galaxy, as Thursday’s MVP announcement confirmed.
In 11 appearances this season, Rogers registered just a single assist.
But maybe more controversial than the Galaxy’s decision to move Magee this season was the fact he beat out a pair of very good — arguably more deserving — MVP candidates.
The Montreal Impact’s Marco Di Vaio was also up for the honour after netting 20 goals and two assists while providing high-light reel markers every other week.
Most deserving, though, was the Galaxy’s Robbie Keane, who netted 16 goals and added 11 assists through just 22 starts.
“Marco Di Vaio, for me, is one of the best goal-scorers this league has ever seen,” Magee said Thursday in downtown KC. “Robbie Keane is a guy who might be one of the best players this league has ever seen.”
The fact Keane provided close to a dozen helpers is a true indications of how “valuable” he was to the players around him. Not to mention Keane’s team ventured further into the playoffs than both of his respective running mates.
“Thanks to my teammates on the Fire, who were literally banking shots off me into the goal,” Magee said in his acceptance speech. “I thank them for working their butts off and kind of helping me get here. I think they had a lot more to do with it than I did.”
No, that’s not it at all.
In the end, Magee’s story was just sexier.