The Keane star of the LA Galaxy

Robbie Keane celebrates Pic:

LA Galaxy fans have a new darling as leonine Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic is leading their line with aplomb and terrorising MLS defences with his brilliance. The former PSG, Barcelona and Inter star is a great player, but he has a long way to go before he can match the achievements of the finest striker LA has ever seen. Robbie Keane blazed a trail of destruction across the MLS and the Irishman is still revered by millions of soccer fans Stateside. He banged in a remarkable 104 goals during his time there and led them to three MLS Cups, and he will go down as a legend in California.

How they could do with a player of his calibre now.

Check out a review, and compare them with the rest of the market before placing a wager on Galaxy because you will see that they are huge outsiders for glory after embarking on a disastrous run of form. They have tumbled down the table and even Ibrahimovic’s magnificence cannot arrest the slump. When Keane led the line, they had a winning mentality and he was the leading light for an all-conquering team.

When David Beckham joined LA Galaxy, it gave the MLS a colossal boost and marked a turning point in its ability to attract star players. But Beckham’s achievements in LA pale in comparison to those of Keane. Golden Balls moved out to Los Angeles in 2007, but he failed to make much of an impact and he angered fans by going on two lengthy loan spells to AC Milan. It all changed in 2011, when Keane followed him to Tinseltown. A lot less fanfare greeted the former Tottenham and Liverpool star’s arrival, but he proved to be the shrewdest acquisition the club ever made.

Keane went straight into the team, replacing Juan Pablo Angel and slotting in nicely alongside Beckham and Landon Donovan. LA Galaxy’s fortunes were instantly transformed. In his first full match, Keane scored in a 3–1 win over Real Salt Lake to book a place in the 2011 MLS Cup, and then he teed up Donovan for the winner as they beat Houston Dynamo 1-0 to lift the trophy a fortnight later. It was the first time in six years that they had lifted the cup, and it proved to be the catalyst for a golden era.

The following season, Keane booked a place in the MLS Best XI up front alongside Thierry Henry after firing in 16 regular season goals.  He scored twice in a 3–1 second leg win over San Jose in the conference semi-finals, then he hit three goals over two legs to see LA Galaxy past Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference final. He then slotted in a penalty as they beat Houston Dynamo again to clinch a second consecutive MLS Cup victory. Beckham then left for Paris, and Keane was the sole star of the show. In 2013, Keane was promoted to captain and he responded by making the MLS XI once again.

In 2014, Keane was named MLS MVP after scoring 19 times in the regular season and going on to lead LA Galaxy to another MLS Cup win. The final against New England Revolution went to extra-time, but Keane grabbed the winner in the 111th minute, once again illustrating his vast importance to the team. Even when Steven Gerrard joined from Liverpool, there was no way that Keane was going to hand over the captaincy. He scored 104 goals in just 165 games at the club. Only Donovan has scored more in LA Galaxy’s history, but he played twice as many games and had a far inferior goals per games ratio.

“It’s been a privilege to have played my part in the history of such a great club and I leave with memories that will stay with me forever,” he said. “Winning three MLS Cups, scoring over 100 goals for the club and being named as 2014 MVP are all achievements that I will look back on with pride. It’s been an incredible experience. I’ve truly loved every minute of my time at LA Galaxy.”

Article by James Huggard an American sports writer

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