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Magee conspicuously absent; Defoe injured
by Paul Kennedy, February 26th, 2014 2:56PM

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TAGS:  chicago fire, mls, new england revolution, online, toronto fc

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[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN] Conspicuously absent from the Chicago Fire's first two games at the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson was 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee. His absence from the first game could be explained away as he took part in last week's MLS media activities in New York. But he then returned home to Chicago and was still absent as it began its second and final week in Arizona.

Unconfirmed reports suggested Magee was holding out until his contract, which runs through 2015, was renegotiated. He would be a prime candidate to get a better deal. He made $191,166 in guaranteed compensation in 2013, based on the MLS Players Union's published figures.

On Monday, the Fire traded Austin Berry, the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year, to Philadelphia for allocation money in order to get cap compliant by March 1, according to head coach Frank Yallop, and terminated the contract of Uruguayan Federico Puppo. The Fire has been plagued by a series of bad Designated Player signings.

Last season it had DPs Arevalo Rios and Sherjill MacDonald, who are no longer with the team, as well as Alvaro Fernandez and Puppo, who were on loan. Its only current DP is Ecuadoran forward Juan Anangono, who is beginning his first full season in MLS and has been starting at center forward in preseason. In recent games, veteran Chris Rolfe, whose option was declined but who then re-signed with the Fire before Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, started in Magee's spot as the second forward in the Fire's 1-0 win over FC Tucson on Saturday.

Magee wasn't the only player who attended the U.S. national team's January camp who didn't play last weekend. All three former U-20s were absent: Shane O'Neill (Colorado) and DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle) were held out for injuries, while Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) also did not dress.

DEFOE WILL SAY GOODBYES. Jermain Defoe suffered a hamstring injury, requiring him to sit out what would have been his last game at Tottenham before joining Toronto FC.

Defoe, 31, made 363 appearances for Spurs, which faces Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Thursday in the Europa League. Defoe finished with 143 goals in all competitions during his two spells at Spurs (2004-08 and (2009-14) and had club record of 23 European goals.

"He will be at the game to say his goodbyes at halftime," said Spurs manager Tim Sherwood. "Jimmy Greaves was the best, but you would say Jermain has also been one of the best goalscorers this club has ever seen. Lets hope we can find another one like Jermain Defoe. He has been all about goals. Whenever he put on the shirt, he always played with all his heart and spirit for the club. Everyone appreciates his efforts. He is a legend at the club."

Defoe signed with Toronto FC in January but was loaned back to Spurs until Friday.

-- The New England Revolution signed former UConn defender Jossimar Sanchez, whom the Revs had drafted in the 2013 Supplemental Draft but who only trained with the club last season after suffering a late-season leg injury in his senior year with the Huskies.

-- Two more lower-round draft picks were signed as Houston inked forward Mark Sherrod (32nd pick out of Memphis) and goalkeeper Michael Lisch (54th pick out of New Mexico). Lisch becomes the lowest pick signed so far to a contract in 2014.
 
Carolina Challenge Cup:
Feb. 26 in Charleston, S.C.
Seattle vs. Houston (MLSSoccer.com, 5 pm ET)
Charleston Battery vs. D.C. United (MLSSoccer.com, 7:15 pm ET)

Disney Pro Classic:
Feb. 26 in Kissimmee, Fla.
Philadelphia 0 Toronto FC 0
New York vs. Fluminense U23 (MLSSoccer.com, 3 pm ET)
Orlando City vs. Columbus (6 pm ET)
Sporting KC vs. Montreal (SportingKC.com, 8 pm ET)

Rose City Invitational:
Feb. 26 in Portland, Ore.
San Jose vs. Vancouver (SJEarthquakes.com, 8 pm ET)
Portland vs. Portmore United (Timbers.com, 10:30 pm ET)

Desert Diamond Cup:
Feb. 26 in Tucson, Ariz.
Chivas USA vs. Colorado (MLSSoccer.com, 3 pm ET)
New England vs. Chicago (MLSSoccer.com, 5:30 pm ET)
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Tucson (MLSSoccer.com, RealSaltLake.com 8 pm ET)



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