Thursday, June 30, 2011
LOCALS: Double-duty leads to honor
By Scott French
Jochem Graf, meet Mike Magee.
Much has been made of Magee's heroic performance in the nets for the Galaxy last weekend, when he stepped into an unfamiliar role after starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts went down because of a broken arm and backup Josh Saunders was red-carded, then shut out the San Jose Earthquakes for 47-plus minutes.
Magee was honored as Major League Soccer's Player of the Week, then scored the winner in the Galaxy's U.S. Open Cup third-round victory Tuesday over the L.A. Blues.
Graf, a forward for the Ventura County Fusion, has a similar tale.
The 21-year-old Texan, heading into his junior year at Bradley University, volunteered to put on the gloves when Fusion goalkeeper Sam Hayden was injured 20 minutes into the Fusion's game nine days ago at BYU.
Like Magee, he'd never played the position. Like Magee, he turned in a stellar performance, conceding just once as V.C. pulled out a 2-1 triumph -- on Daniel Steres' 90th-minute goal -- in Premier Development League action.
Two days later, Graf got his first start for the Fusion, scoring twice in the first half-hour in a 4-1 romp at Ogden that improved their record to 8-0-4 and provided a four-point lead on Fresno Fuego (7-0-3) in a tight Southwest Division race.
Orange County Blue Star forward Fernando Monge, from UCLA, joined Graf on the PDL Team of the Week after scoring twice in a 4-1 victory over the Southern California Seahorses.