The standing-room-only crowd of 20,124 on hand to witness the Fire's 3-2 defeat to Orlando City SC last Saturday, treated to another pulsating MLS fixture, also welcomed the sight of Chicago native Mike Magee for the first time since August 16, 2014.
After entering the match in the 83rd minute for Matt Polster, the 2013 MVP's substitute appearance - as foretold by head coach Frank Yallop in the days building up to the match - helped tick off another crucial step in his path toward a full recovery from hip surgery.
Magee resumed another week of full training ahead of the Men in Red's Eastern Conference battle against the New England Revolution, scoring the lone goal in an 11v11 scrimmage Thursday morning. His left-footed curler from the edge of the area eluded the reach of 'keeper Jon Busch, but the forward departed training soon after with a slight tweak in his hamstring.
"It's up to him to start getting the confidence back and start playing," Yallop said. "He doesn't lack confidence once he's fit. He knows he's a good player and a good finisher. He's all of the things that you should be. But being out nine or so months is never easy for anybody, especially a player that's dynamic and wants to help the team. He'll be fine once he gets his rhythm. I'm sure it's coming soon but it's been a while."
Before setting off for the second-to-last fixture in a stretch of seven consecutive against conference opponents, the Fire technical and training staff re-evaluated Magee Friday morning and confirmed he would not travel with the team to face Jay Heaps' side on Saturday.
Mike Magee didn't train today, was held out for precautionary measures. Will not travel to New England. #cf97
— Danny Michallik (@DMichallik) June 12, 2015
[NBC SHOP: Buy a Fire jersey right here!]
As a result - and in order to compile a full, 18-man roster to make up for the additional absences of Shaun Maloney, David Accam and Joevin Jones - the club announced loanee Patrick Doody would return from USL affiliate Saint Louis FC after accumulating seven starts in eight appearances.
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) June 12, 2015
Doody, a Naperville native, became the Fire's sixth Homegrown player on December 22, 2014. A Fire Academy and PDL product, the 23-year-old was loaned on March 20, 2015 and was deployed primarily as a left back for Dale Schilly's outfit.
Cup-tied with Saint Louis, he will meet up with them in advance of their fourth round U.S. Open Cup game at Sporting Kansas City on June 16.