The whispers started before Robbie Keane had even left England.
He was 31, and negligence down, they said. One of a many inclusive scorers in Premier League history, a Irishman had mislaid his touch, bouncing from Tottenham to Scotland and afterwards on to West Ham United, where he started usually 5 games for a misfortune group in a league.
So when Keane left a continent for a Galaxy and Major League Soccer 14 months ago, it seemed like a judicious subsequent step toward retirement. But rather than a golden parachute, Keane has found a fountain of girl in a U.S., reigniting a stellar career by assisting a Galaxy to an MLS Cup pretension final fall, afterwards carrying an injury-riddled group behind to a playoffs with a shining widen expostulate this year.
“He’s had an superb year,” Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena says. “He’s been as good as any actor in a league.”
Since returning from captaining a Irish inhabitant group in June’s European Championships, Keane has had a idea or support in 15 of a 19 MLS games he has played. The Galaxy won 11 of those 15, climbing out of a discussion attic and into a postseason it will start Thursday during a Home Depot Center opposite a Vancouver Whitecaps.
The celebrity of Thursday’s diversion advances to a two-game Western Conference semifinals, commencement Sunday in San Jose.
“He’s hasn’t faded out of games. He hasn’t had spells where he’s been dry,” defender Todd Dunivant says of Keane. “He’s been all we expected.”
Anyone who was awaiting anything reduction wasn’t profitable attention, says Keane, who insists he assimilated a Galaxy not since he had to, though since he wanted to.
“It’s a opposite plea really,” he says of MLS play. “I played during a top turn for a prolonged time in England. we could have stayed there and played, easy, for a integrate of some-more years. we usually fanciful a totally new challenge.
“Plus if you’re not personification for Man United or Chelsea and you’re not unequivocally winning things, it’s utterly tough. we played for a prolonged time and it was usually time for a new section in my career.”
It’s a section that began in early 2011 when a Galaxy’s David Beckham, who was training with Tottenham, began offered Keane on fasten him.By a time a English deteriorate finished in May, it was apparent Tottenham saw Keane as a part-time actor and was prepared to pierce him. So a Galaxy swept in, alighting a striker 3 months after for a reported $5.7-million send fee.
But it wasn’t a income that meddlesome Keane, as most as it was a probability to infer himself again. He wasn’t looking to retire; he was looking for redemption.
“I didn’t come over here to finish my career,” he says. “If we know me, if we demeanour during a approach we play, I’m still eager about it. That craving to measure goals and wanting a group to win, that craving is still in me. And we consider it will be in me for a long, prolonged time.”
Keane, 32, had a idea in his MLS entrance final season, afterwards set adult Landon Donovan for a usually measure in November’s MLS Cup final. But he unequivocally came on in a second half this season, finishing as a team’s heading scorer with 16 goals — fourth-best in a fasten — while fixation second in assists with 9 in 28 games. Six of his goals were game-winners, and 5 of his assists led to game-winning scores.
“He’s been a celebrity on a margin and off and apparently his idea scoring speaks for itself,” Arena says of Keane. “It’s unequivocally that simple. He’s a personality, he’s a peculiarity aggressive actor and he creates a group different.”
Dunivant says it’s Keane’s soccer comprehension that creates him dangerous.
“He’s so clever,” Dunivant explains. “His runs off a round are as good as it gets. It’s so formidable for defenders. They have to make decisions all a time with him. And as a defender a final thing we wish to do is always have to be put in situations where you’re creation formidable decisions.
“He puts that on defenders. He creates guys demeanour bad.”
Now his new play is creation many of his former bosses in a Premier League demeanour bad as well. Liverpool, that let Keane go after one season, flush Tuesday as a latest to demonstrate seductiveness in re-signing a striker, who has dual years and an choice left on a Galaxy agreement that is profitable him $3.4 million this season.
So don’t count out a probability that Keane will breeze adult timid here after all.
“It’s apparently a good place to live,” he says. “The family’s unequivocally enjoying it. Hopefully, we’re very, really staid here [and] we can stay here for a prolonged time. And as prolonged as we keep fit, keep healthy and gripping personification for a best outcome and assistance this group grow, I’ll be happy.”