Landon Donovan responded to his U.S. national team snub by becoming MLS' all-time leading goal scorer in his first opportunity following the startling news.
It's uncertain whether Mike Magee will now get a turn to show someone what they're missing as the reigning MLS MVP welcomes his former club to his hometown.
Magee is listed as questionable Sunday for Chicago in what could be his first match against the Los Angeles Galaxy since they shipped him to the Fire last year.
A calf injury kept him out of a 2-0 loss to Columbus last Saturday and could again sideline him against Los Angeles (4-3-3). Magee hasn't faced the Galaxy since 2008 and is without a goal in his last eight games against them.
His presence has still been strongly felt in the series. The clubs opened 2013 against each other with Magee torching his future club with a hat trick in a 4-0 win March 3.
It was their only meeting of the season and gave the Galaxy a fourth straight win in a five-match unbeaten streak against the Fire (2-3-6). Los Angeles is 3-0-1 in Chicago since 2008.
Donovan, predictably, has been a big part of that success with eight goals in his last nine starts against the Fire. He scored his first two of the season in last Sunday's 4-1 home win over Philadelphia to overtake Jeff Cunningham for the league record with 136 goals.
"This is my job and this is what I get paid to do, so my teammates depend on me and I think I've played well this year, but I needed to contribute on the scoreboard, and that felt good," Donovan said. "Obviously, a lot of relief in some ways, a lot of joy, but I feel like I'm in really good form right now, and I really feel good about how I played."
Robbie Keane also scored, giving the forward seven goals in 10 matches this season.
Besides that striking partnership, the Galaxy have conceded a league-low nine goals, though they'll again be without top defender Omar Gonzalez as he remains with the U.S. national team.
They also won't have Todd Dunivant until sometime in July after the left back recently underwent surgery on an abdominal injury that had kept him out since April 6.
Central midfielder Marcelo Sarvas is said to be closer to a return, though there's no guarantee a starting spot next to Juninho will still be his with the emergence of Kenney Walker. Walker has started the last two matches.
"He can split defenses with 10-, 15-yard passes. That can take two, three players out of the game," Keane told the club's official website. "It's important he continues to do that because we have other players who can do other stuff."
The Fire are also dealing with injuries beyond Magee. Regulars Lovel Palmer, Patrick Nyarko, Bakary Soumare and Alex all missed the Columbus match.
"We have a few guys out at the moment, so there's not a lot we can change," said coach Frank Yallop, who coached Los Angeles during the 2006-07 seasons. "We just have to keep working."
Chicago will be trying to deny the Galaxy a season-best third straight win. Los Angeles, though, is 1-2-3 in road games with a four-match winless streak and one goal scored in the last three.