Mike Magee doesn’t want to talk about his record goal-scoring streak with the Chicago Fire.
Columbus Crew coach Robert Warzycha, however, has a few things to say about it.
Magee should be available Saturday night at Columbus, where the Fire go for a second victory over the Crew in 10 days and third for the season.
Acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 25 for the rights to Robbie Rogers, Magee has found the back of the net in all five games – including two in U.S. Open Cup action – with the Fire (4-7-3). His penalty kick in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Colorado made Magee the first player in Fire history to score in each of his first five games.
“If I start talking about that, it won’t be six,” Magee told MLS’ official website. “So no comment.”
Warzycha, though, knows Chicago’s new striker will be a focal point for his defense. Magee tallied the equalizer in a 2-1 U.S. Open Cup victory over the visiting Crew on June 13.
“They have a player who is a good finisher, good in front of goal,” Warzycha told the Crew’s official website. “It shows in their later results.”
Magee has helped the Fire extend their unbeaten stretch in league play to a season-best four and six across all competitions, but he hurt his back Wednesday when colliding with reigning rookie of the year Austin Berry, who netted the game’s final score.
“It’s just tight, all good,” Magee said.
The Crew (5-5-5), five points ahead of the Fire, are starting to feel better about themselves after knocking off Eastern Conference-leading Montreal 2-0 last Saturday.
Ex-Fire forward Dominic Oduro — sent to Columbus in the deal that landed Chicago the rights to Rogers — set up Mathias Sanchez’s first MLS goal then recorded his team-leading seventh as Columbus won for just the third time in 11 league matches.
“It gives the team some confidence,” Warzycha said.
So did the return of defenders Chad Marshall and Josh Williams from injuries in what was one of the club’s better defensive efforts of the season.
Warzycha’s lineup could get even healthier Saturday should midfielder Agustin Viana (hamstring strain) make his first league appearance in nearly two months and striker Jairo Arrieta return following a stint with the Costa Rican national team.
Arrieta will re-join his national team following a match at Kansas City on June 29 for the Gold Cup, but the Crew know they can’t be focused on that match, or one at Los Angeles on July 4.
“You can’t really look ahead to Kansas City or L.A. when we have probably the biggest game of our season, in my opinion, this Saturday night,” goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said.
The Fire have won three straight and six of seven against Columbus in MLS play, including a 1-0 victory April 20 on captain Jeff Larentowicz’s goal in the 83rd minute.
The Crew, though, won 2-1 in the Fire’s last visit May 26, 2012.