Forward Mike Magee is holding out from Chicago Fire preseason training camp in Tucson, Ariz., because the 2013 MLS MVP wants to renegotiate his contract, according to sources.
The club sees things differently.
"I can't confirm that," said Fire technical director Brian Bliss of a Magee holdout.
Magee, a Long Grove native acquired last May from the Los Angeles Galaxy in a trade for the rights to Robbie Rogers, scored 21 goals in 2013, 15 of them with the Fire. According to the MLS Players Union, Magee, 29, had a base salary of $185,000 and $191,666.67 in guaranteed compensation last season.
Bliss said Magee was excused from camp for a league marketing campaign and then to attend to personal matters involving his family at the request of Magee and his agent, Richard Motzkin. "Usually when it's personal we give guys some leeway," Bliss said.
Bliss said Magee has been excused from camp the last four or five days. He did not play in Saturday's 2-0 exhibition victory against FC Tucson and Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
Bliss said the team is not negotiating a new contract with Magee. "No, not at all," he said.
Bliss said reports that Magee missed Saturday's game because of hamstring problems date to a minor injury suffered in the Fire's training session earlier this month in Bradenton, Fla.
Bliss said Magee has a guaranteed contract for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Efforts to reach Magee and Motzkin have been unsuccessful so far. Magee is entering his 12th MLS season, and he spent January in camp with the U.S. national team, missing a friendly due to food poisoning.
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