Mike Magee’s soccer career took him home to Chicago this season for the first time since he became a professional.
The Major League Soccer most valuable player award followed him there.
The Chicago Fire striker was presented with the MVP trophy Thursday at Three Points Club in downtown Kansas City. Magee is the first member of the Fire to win the award.
“This is still all so surreal,” said Magee, who was informed of the honor a week ago.
Magee, 29, started the season with the LA Galaxy, for whom he scored six goals as a midfielder. He was traded to Chicago in May, and the Fire promptly moved him to forward. He responded with seven goals in his first seven matches.
He finished with 21 goals in MLS play for the season, including 15 with the Fire, his hometown team. Magee lives in Chicago with his wife and their 3-year-old daughter.
“I’ve had a lot of seasons where there’s more ups and downs,” Magee said. “And this year it seemed like it just kept getting better from a soccer standpoint and a life standpoint.”
The MVP voters — a group that included players, team management personnel and members of the media — recognized his smooth transition on the field, even though Chicago was left out of the playoffs.
Los Angeles Galaxy’s Robbie Keane, the New York Red Bulls’ Tim Cahill and Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio were also finalists for the MVP.