It's been an up-and-down week for Chicago Fire forward / midfielder Mike Magee.
Magee saw his first action of the season in Sunday's 1-1 home-opening draw against the New York Red Bulls. On Wednesday it was announced he will not be on the U.S. national team's World Cup roster for the warmup match against Mexico on Wednesday.
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Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and goalkeepers coach Aron Hyde did get the national-team call.
Magee had no reaction to missing out on what probably was his last chance to impress U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and earn a spot on the World Cup roster.
He was more upbeat about overcoming the hamstring injury that kept him sidelined from the Fire's first two games this season.
"The hamstring is great," Magee said Thursday. "My fitness isn't exactly where I'd love it to be, but I'm glad I made it through 90 minutes and got that off my chest, and now it's time to start playing well.
"It was tougher than I would have liked. I think the conditions obviously weren't great. In the first game of the season, obviously you have high hopes, and my body limited me a little bit."
Mike Magee found himself surrounded by new faces Sunday, including young midfielders Harry Shipp and Benji Joya and forward Quincy Amarikwa.
"Obviously, we haven't scored as many goals as we would have liked to, and we're going through a little bit of a formation change, but the confidence in each other is there and we've created chances. We just have to finish them," Magee said.
Amarikwa is confident the guys up front will figure things out.
"I feel we're working towards that way," said Amarikwa, who is trying to take advantage of this newfound chance to start games. "We've been training a bit this last week and a half or so. That was (Magee's) first 90 minutes in a while. ... From that standpoint you can only assume that it's going to get better, we're develop more chemistry over time. So I'm looking forward to that and we'll make a great partnership up top."
Amarikwa said he doesn't think the lack of a tall, target forward in the Fire starting lineup is a problem.
"I think I can do that job as well as get in behind," the 5-foot-9 Amarikwa said. "If we need someone to fight and battle to hold the ball up, I feel I can complement that position well but also have the ability to get in with the smaller guys that we have out there. But I think it plays to our advantage. It gives us the ability to be a bit more crafty and break on the counter and beat some of the bigger guys that we'll be up against."
Odd man out:
With Amarikwa's success, designated player Juan Luis Anangono has found himself relegated to a reserve role the past two games.
"I think that the players are starting out in a better moment than I am right now, so I think that the person who is in the best moment in the moment should be starting and that's where they are right now," Anangono said through a team translator after training Thursday. "I believe that with hard work and stuff I'm going to get to that level where I want to be. Right now I don't feel confident that I am there, but I'm 100 percent sure that I will get to that point just with hard work and continued improvement."
Anangono, a 24-year-old Ecuadorean, said he is under contract with the Fire through 2016 season. According to last fall's MLS Players Union numbers, Anangono made $120,000 last season. He is scoreless through the first three games this season. He scored twice in 13 games after joining the team midway through the 2013 season.
"The idea is staying here for that period of time and becoming an asset to the team in those two years and keep working hard toward better things," he said.
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