Galaxy welcome Keane, San JoseBy iyeo • Aug 20th, 2011 • Category: Game Previews, Lead Story
There’s about two months left in the 2011 MLS season, but the Los Angeles Galaxy hope Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes is the start of something big.
When the Galaxy play the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, the Galaxy will unveil its latest and brightest acquisition to date, as celebrated Ireland international Robbie Keane will make his debut for the Galaxy Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
“Robbie is a fabulous addition to our team,” Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said. “We’ve lacked a little bit in the final third of the field (and) Robbie is a player with a proven goal-scoring record .
It’s been a busy week for both Keane and the Galaxy. Keane’s acquisition by the Galaxy had been rumored since last Friday, but the two sides did not officially seal the deal until this past Monday, part of the deal included a hefty transfer fee being paid to Keane’s now former employer, Tottenham Hotspur. Keane then had to wait for a visa, which he received on Wednesday, then immediately arrived in LA on Thursday to a warm reception from Galaxy fans. Keane trained with the team on Friday and was formally introduced to the media shortly after.
“It’s been a hectic 6-7 days for me,” Keane said. “It’s a very exciting opportunity for me, its something that I’m going to relish, something that I’m really looking forward to and bringing something different to the team and score a lot of goals.”
Keane is expected to boost the Galaxy’s offense, which has been absent at times even as Los Angeles has amassed itself to the top of the league. Keane takes the Galaxy’s third Designated Player spot from Juan Pablo Angel, who was traded to Chivas USA shortly after Keane’s arrival was made official. LA hopes Keane’s presence can surpass that of Angel, who in his five months wearing the Galaxy shirt, had only three goals to justify his occupation of the Galaxy’s third DP spot. Keane on the other hand has scored ______ goals while playing for ____ different clubs and has scored 57 goals playing for Ireland. Keane insists playing in MLS will have no bearing on his future with the Irish national team as it attempts to qualify for the European championships next summer.
“The most important thing to do is do what you do best, and that is to play well and score goals,” Keane said.
Keane joins a Galaxy side that is among the best in MLS. Los Angeles has a record of 13-3-9 points 48 points. Landon Donovan leads the team in scoring with 11 goals, one behind another international superstar, New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry, in the race for the golden boot. The goals after that though have been very sparse, as striker Chad Barrett is second with just four goals this year. Most of the Galaxy’s goals have been supplied by the right foot of Beckham, whose 10 assists places him one behind the Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis for the league lead.
Oh, did we mention the Galaxy are playing the San Jose Earthquakes. One year removed from getting to within a win of the MLS Cup final, the Quakes are now fighting just to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. It is unknown whether or not Keane will start the match, though Arena and Keane speculated that Keane will play some significant time on Saturday.
“I can tell you one thing; Robbie wants to play about 100 minutes (against San Jose),” Arena said. “We want to be smart, we realize there’s been a lot of travel and we don’t want to position him to be injured.”
The two teams met back on June 24 at Back Shaw Stadium. The meeting featured some very strange circumstances. The Galaxy’s starting keeper, Donovan Ricketts, making his return between the pipes after representing Jamaica in the Gold Cup, left the game with an arm injury on a collision, then backup keeper Josh Saunders was red carded after a confrontation with Steven Lenhart. The Galaxy turned to midfielder Mike Magee to be the last line of defense and amazingly succeeded, making four saves and helping Los Angeles get the shutout and the point.