By IVES GALARCEP
When the word of Robbie Rogers’ desire to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy first surfaced, the initial belief was that the Chicago Fire (which hold Rogers’ MLS rights) would likely fetch something small in a trade.
The Fire aimed much, much higher than just a draft pick of allocation and landed a hometown hero in the process.
Sources have confirmed to SBI that the Fire and Galaxy have completed a trade that has sent Rogers’ rights to the Galaxy in exchange for Chicago native Mike Magee.
The Galaxy and Fire agreed to the terms of the trade earlier in the week, but Rogers did not finalize his new contract with MLS until Friday. Both teams are expected to announce the trade on Saturday.
The teams had been talking trade for several weeks, with the Fire asking for a package including Magee and other parts. The Galaxy were looking to acquire Rogers’ rights for far less, but after weeks of negotiations, LA finally relented and parted with their team’s leading scorer.
So does a Magee-for-Rodgers deal make sense?
Magee seems like a steep price to pay for the services of Rogers, but Rogers is considerably younger (he’s 25, Magee is 29) and the marketing appeal of having the first openly gay player in pro American team sports could make the deal worthwhile for the Galaxy.
From a soccer standpoint, the Galaxy would be giving up Magee’s goal-scoring ability, and penchant for playing well in big games, but they would also be welcoming in a player in Rogers who would give the team a pure wing threat who could slot in as a right winger or left winger.
The Galaxy also have a pair of the league’s most talented young attacking players in Jose Villarreal and Gyasi Zardes, two players who can help fill the kind of roles that Magee’s departure leaves with the Galaxy.
Rogers will be expected to slot in on the right wing once he is fit, and he should be able to give the team some quality service from the flank, with either Landon Donovan or Villarreal sliding into the left wing role.
The trade is a bonanza for the Fire, who acquire a proven goal scorer and a local Chicago-area product with a track record of coming up big in big games. Chicago’s struggling offense will almost certainly benefit from Magee’s finishing and soccer acumen, though the FIre are almost assuredly still searching for more help at forward.
The trade also puts a new perspective on Chicago’s trade of Dominic Oduro to the Columbus Crew for Dilly Duka and the rights to Rogers.
What do you think of the deal? Think the Galaxy are crazy? Feeling good about the Fire after their acquisitions of Magee and Bakary Soumare?
Share your thoughts below.