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Former Galaxy star Mike Magee earns invitation to pre-World Cup camp

January 03, 2014|By Kevin Baxter
  • Mike Magee celebrates after a Galaxy teammate's goal during a victory over Houston for the MLS Championship.
Mike Magee celebrates after a Galaxy teammate's goal during a victory… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

Former Galaxy forward Mike Magee will be returning to StubHub Center on Monday after earning an invitation to the U.S. national team's winter training camp.

Magee, who won Major League Soccer's MVP award last season after tying for the league lead with 21 goals, will be joined in the monthlong camp by former Galaxy teammates Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez. The camp, the longest and most extensive ahead of June's World Cup in Brazil, will be split across two continents.

After six days in Carson, the roster will be trimmed to 23 players and the team will decamp for the U.S. team's summer training base in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for 12 days of twice-daily sessions. They're then scheduled to return to California ahead of a Feb. 1 friendly with South Korea at StubHub Center.

"Going to Sao Paulo, going to Brazil, to train at that facility where we're going to train during the World Cup, to stay at that hotel where we're going to stay, it means to connect ourselves with Brazil, connect ourselves with the people that work there, with the circumstances that you're going to meet there and to get a real good feeling of how it's going to be in June. So it's a tremendous advantage for us to do that trip," U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann said.

Twenty-five of the 26 players summoned to camp Friday are on MLS rosters, the lone exception being midfielder Mix Diskerud, who is with Rosenborg in his native Norway. Ten players called up Friday played on the U.S. team during last year's World Cup qualifying campaign.

"It's very important, especially for MLS players, to get off vacation and start working again and and get into a rhythm and build your foundation for the entire season," said Klinsmann, who coached the U.S. to a record 16 wins in 2013.

Magee, who left Chicago on Thursday to escape the winter weather, is staying with Gonzalez ahead of Monday's first camp session. One of the Galaxy's most popular players, he helped the team to back-to-back MLS Cup titles before being traded to the Chicago Fire last May in exchange for the rights to midfielder Robbie Rogers.

Magee played for age-group U.S. national teams but has never played for the senior team, making him, at 29, the oldest uncapped player on the roster called up Friday.

"What's exciting is always to figure out, maybe find another two, three, four guys that will break into that inner circle of the senior team," Klinsmann said. "This is the opportunity now, prove it in the next four weeks to go [to the World Cup]."

Magee was last called into training camp nine years ago, when Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena was in charge.

"This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup," Klinsmann said. "It's important for the players to continue developing their bond and sense of urgency for the tournament. It's important for us to see how they do in Brazil, how the new players fit with the group and to make sure everyone is focused on reaching the highest level for next summer."

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Midfielders: Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Landon Donovan (Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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