Former Spurs attackers reunited in MLS as LA Galaxy secure Giovani deal

LA Galaxy’s capture of Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos is a huge one for the club and few seemed more excited about the deal than Robbie Keane.

The former Spurs attackers will link up once again for the first time in five years and Keane is tipping Giovani to go on a “become a superstar” in Major League Soccer.

“I’m very excited to have him here,” Keane said on Wednesday. “We had a good relationship when he came to Tottenham. He came to Tottenham as a young kid who couldn’t’ speak English so I made sure that he was looked after.

“I looked after him when he came over, and we’d stayed in contact since. He’s here to win. He wants to make sure that he takes the Galaxy to the next level.”

Dos Santos joins the Galaxy from Spanish side Villarreal in a deal worth around $34 million (or £21 million). He won’t link up with his new teammates until early August after Mexico’s CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign but Keane is buzzing to play alongside the tricky playmaker once more.

“I think that he’s going to be a superstar in this league,” the Irishman added. “There’s no question about it. He has the right mentality, he has the flair, and I’m sure that Galaxy fans are going to be excited to see him play.”

As well as linking up with Keane in LA, Giovani will be able to play alongside fellow new arrival Steven Gerrard in what is looking like the strongest Designated Player trio in MLS.

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“It’s certainly looking like exciting times for the Galaxy,” Keane finalised. “I think that everyone is looking forward to getting the group on the field and developing chemistry.”

Gerrard has yet to make his MLS debut but is expected to do so in Friday night’s contest against the San Jose Earthquakes, while Dos Santos’s debut could come at home to the Seattle Sounders on August 9.

Have LA Galaxy got the best trio of Designated Players in MLS?

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Robbie Keane is “getting stronger” and sees Galaxy “kicking on”

LA Galaxy moved to just three points off the Western Conference top spot with a second consecutive 1-0 home win on Wednesday night as a Juninho penalty saw off Real Salt Lake.

Robbie Keane continued his return to fitness by playing 45 minutes in the second half and feels like he is getting stronger as a return to full fitness is near.

“It’s nice. It’s always going to take a bit of time to certainly get to 100 percent, but these minutes certainly do help,” the Irish striker said after the game. “It was nice to get another win, that’s the most important thing.

“I’m okay, like I said, I’ll just get stronger and stronger. I just continue to progress and keep working hard off the field, and on the training field, and getting the minutes in.”

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Keane’s return to the side has seen them put to bed a five-game winless streak by winning their past two matches and Bruce Arena’s side will now be looking up the table.

A tough trip to New England Revolution is in store on Sunday night but Keane sees the team “kicking on” and progressing from now.

“”I think I said it three weeks ago, I see this team kicking on. Still have players to come in, and still players that aren’t fully fit either. So we are going in the right direction.”

Are the LA Galaxy in a strong position now Robbie Keane has returned?

Robbie Keane hints MLS move has hindered his international career

Robbie Keane will turn 35 in July and is still turning out great performances for both club and country.

But the LA Galaxy striker has hinted his MLS move may not have helped his international career and believes he has himself to thank for still featuring for the Republic of Ireland.

Keane’s comments were reported by the Daily Star ahead of his countries’ drama-filled European qualifier against Poland last night as they equalised in stoppage time to grab a share of the spoils.

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“Has the Galaxy helped me? I’m not too sure. I think I’ve helped myself because of the way I keep myself and the hunger and the desire that I have.

“It’s okay having the ability, but if you don’t have the hunger and the desire, wanting to play and wanting to still be the best and wanting to still score goals, you’re not really going to do too much.”

The Galaxy skipper is more than happy to run himself into the ground before retiring and happy that he is still playing at the top level.

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“I still have that and I have always had it since I made my debut the first day, and nothing has changed since then.

“I’ll stop playing and stop scoring goals when literally I can hardly walk. That’s how much I love playing, it’s fairly simple.”

Has Robbie Keane’s career been hindered by moving to MLS with LA Galaxy?

Robbie Keane eyeing up managerial role after playing career ends

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane has no plans to hang up his boots just yet but he has spoken of his desire to stay in the game he loves as a coach when he does eventually retire.

The Republic of Ireland international has set his sights on one day managing his country but wants to ease his way into the coaching lifestyle by first becoming an assistant manager.

“It is something I would be interested in,” Keane said. “A few years down the line, it would have to be. I’m not going to get something like that at the start, like anything, it depends what opportunities you get. You don’t walk into jobs. You have to establish yourself.

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“The last year or so I have been doing my coaching badges. The reason I am doing them now is that if an opportunity does come along and I am finished playing, then I can look at it.

“Maybe going in with a manager as an assistant because I have a lot to offer on the training field in terms of sessions I know players will like,” he added.

“When you are an assistant manager, you have to be in between the players and the manager. You have to have the relationship where you can sometimes go to those players who don’t feel comfortable going to the manager.”

The LA Galaxy captain is a natural leader and showed that as he led the Galaxy to their fifth MLS Cup title in December, netting the winning goal in extra-time.

He could start his coaching career in MLS with the Galaxy as he is already a leader to the younger players in the squad. The Irishman has scored 69 goals in 115 appearances for the reigning champions in all competitions and has recently helped Gyasi Zardes develop into one of the league’s most lethal attackers.

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Keane could step into management alongside his current manager, Bruce Arena in Los Angeles but his ultimate goal is to return home to manager his country.

The 34 year old is Ireland’s all-time leading goalscorer and also holds the record number of caps for his nation so there would not be many people better equipped to lead the Boys in Green.

“Would the ultimate goal be to manage Ireland? Maybe one day, yeah. It is something I would be interested in. A few years down the line, it would have to be.”

Would Robbie Keane make a good manager when he retires from the game?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: LA Galaxy

As the new season draws ever closer we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the LA Galaxy will be looking to achieve this year.

LA Galaxy head into the 2015 season off the back of one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of the club. They won a record fifth MLS Cup title and said goodbye to the legendary Landon Donovan following his retirement. The Galaxy must ensure that Donovan’s retirement doesn’t have a negative impact on their performances on the pitch. Deciding how they will set-up in order to get the best out of the team once new signing Steven Gerrard joins in July will be crucial. The aim for 2015 will be to achieve at least the same again in terms of honours.

Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 2nd – P34 – W17 – D10 – L7

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What needs to change this year?

It’s not so much a case of what needs to change for LA Galaxy, but more how they can set about continuing from where they left off.  The 2014 season saw them lose just seven regular season games – the least out of any MLS team. Three of those defeats came in the opening eight fixtures, so a better start this time around will ensure they can be the early pacesetters.  The only disappointment from last year will be that they failed to win the Supporters’ Shield, so that will be one of their targets for 2015.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Steven Gerrard – Midfielder (Designated Player)

Outs: Landon Donovan – Midfielder/Forward, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfielder, Rob Friend – Forward

Key player: Robbie KeaneForward

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Robbie Keane‘s contribution throughout the 2014 season was astonishing. He is the captain, a leader of men and possesses bags of experience. He will have achieved hero status after his performance last year, including the famous MLS Cup Final winning goal. He will need to continue to take responsibility and guide his team along the way.

One to watch: Gyasi ZardesForward

The 23-year-old is an exciting prospect. Gyasi Zardes was very much the unsung hero last season, due to the attention given to Landon Donovan’s farewell season and Robbie Keane’s superb efforts. He scored 16 goals in the regular season campaign and is growing in quality with every second he spends on the pitch. The recent inclusion in the USMNT will only give him further confidence to act as a springboard for 2015.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 1st

Competition is going to be even higher in the Western Conference this season, but LA Galaxy still boast one of the strongest squads in Major League Soccer. They’re certainly one of the strong favourites for the Supporters’ Shield and will also expect to retain their MLS Cup title.

How will LA Galaxy fare in 2015?

Robbie Keane: Steven Gerrard will not take my LA Galaxy captaincy

Robbie Keane has declared that he will not allow Steven Gerrard to take the captain’s armband from him when the Liverpool midfielder joins up with the LA Galaxy in July.

The Republic or Ireland international striker was named as Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player at the end of the 2014 season and his extra-time goal in the MLS Cup final saw the Galaxy claim a record fifth MLS Cup title.

It’s safe to say Keane likes to lead his team. He has done since joining the club in 2011 and has stepped up as a leader when both David Beckham, and more recently, Landon Donovan left the side.

Keane has insisted that he will remain the LA Galaxy captain this season despite the fact that former teammate and long-term Liverpool captain, Gerrard is joining up with the team in July.

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“He is arriving as an addition, not as a replacement as captain,” Keane told reporters in Ireland where the Galaxy are set to play Shamrock Rovers on Saturday.

“I have spoken to Steven and he is excited about the challenge of coming to LA Galaxy. He is going to be a great addition to our squad.”

LA Galaxy open up the new MLS season on March 6 against the Chicago Fire but will be without new Designated Player Gerrard until at least July.

The Liverpool legend is expected to make his debut in the home game against San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, July 17.

Robbie Keane rules out Premier League loan move

Robbie Keane is arguably in the best form of his life. He picked up the Major League Soccer MVP Award a few weeks ago and fired the LA Galaxy to their record fifth MLS Cup title too. But he’s not looking to continue playing through the offseason.

The 34-year-old see’s himself playing for at least three more years and so he needs to keep himself fresh for the upcoming MLS season which gets underway in March.

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And so Keane has ruled out a return to the Premier League in a short-term loan spell this winter, he confirmed to the Irish Independent.

“I’ve been asked to go on loan by clubs, mostly in the Premier League, but it’s not going to happen,” said Keane.

“Medically, I’ve been advised to take a break. Two days after I came home from America last year, I had the operation on both of my Achilles and was back doing intensive training two days later. That’s 22 months without a break, so I need one now.

“After a few weeks off, I start to get the itch and I’ve got that now. I was playing five-a-side with my mates 10 days after the MLS Cup final. I feel the best I’ve felt for years.

“Our break [in MLS] is that little bit longer so I feel the temptation is there only because I love playing the game.

“Although that’s there, I just can’t see a loan happening, to be honest.”

The Irish striker will return to Ireland with the Galaxy in February to face Shamrock Rovers in a pre-season friendly and he feels he has plenty left in the tank

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Keane admits that he has not thought about retirement and believes he could play for another four years.

“I see myself playing for three or four more years, 100 percent, so I need to be honest with everyone that my future is beyond next year,” he added.

“And for me to concentrate on playing for Ireland, and focus on playing in the Euros, I have to look beyond then. I never said I was going to leave the Galaxy, but I need to see what’s best for myself in the long term.

“That’s the reason I was being honest, too much perhaps, but I don’t want to see myself going into the Euros year [in 2016] wondering what’s going to happen.”

Should LA Galaxy consider taking Darren Bent to MLS?

Aston Villa forward Darren Bent has a wealth of talent in front of goal and will always find the net, but with a lack of playing time in the Premier League could he be tempted by a move to Major League Soccer?

He has found himself a little out of favour with the Midlands side and is currently spending time with Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion on a short-term loan spell.

It could be the right time for Bent to take on a new challenge and MLS could be a great destination for him.

As we know LA Galaxy are still on the hunt for a replacement for Landon Donovan and it could be a great move for both sides if the Galaxy took a gamble on the 30-year-old.

Galaxy star Robbie Keane has played with Bent at both Tottenham and Aston Villa and so the pair could form a solid partnership in MLS if the Englishman were targeted.

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Bent is at a good age for a move stateside and can take many positives from other former Premier League strikers who are now thriving in Major League Soccer.

The likes of Keane and Jermain Defoe have set the league alight and are idolised by their club’s supporters as a result. For any striker this is a perfect scenario, as it boosts confidence to the maximum.

Bent has scored wherever he has played and he netted for current side Brighton just three days after joining on loan.

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MLS would offer him a great opportunity to enjoy his football and find consistent playing time, where he would probably play 90 minutes every game.

He has an impressive strike rate of almost one in two and with an outlet like him, LA Galaxy would find themselves in an even stronger position to challenge on all fronts once again this season.

The experience he can bring to any squad is worthwhile and he could also set a great example to up-and-coming young players.

Would Darren Bent be an MLS success if he were to move stateside?

Will LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane be as prolific next campaign?

Major League Soccer MVP and MLS Cup winner Robbie Keane had a wonderful season, capped off by scoring the winning goal in the final but he has a lot to do for the upcoming season to maintain his brilliant form.

The loss of the now-retired Landon Donovan will certainly have an impact on Keane’s performances, because as we know teams feared playing against the deadly duo but they can now pay more attention to Keane.

The 34-year-old forward will need to continue his successful partnership with the impressive Gyasi Zardes, who only netted three less than the Irishman last term.

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It will be interesting to see who the Galaxy bring in as a replacement for Donovan, with some reports suggesting Ronaldinho could be on his way to MLS.

With many players we know age is just a number, Keane will turn 35 during the next season but given his hunger and desire for the game it shouldn’t impact his performances at all.

He showed throughout last season that he still has that killer instinct in front of goal – a trait that he will never lose. With that in mind, teams will be fearing him possibly even more so in the upcoming season due to confidence being as high as ever.

We can expect Keane to be heading someway towards his 20-goal tally of this season again next term and unless any other outside factors hinder him such as injuries he should have no problem reaching his targets.

His wealth of experience will again help him no end, and the displays we saw from Keane last season were as good as when he was at his best with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The Galaxy will be going into the new season full of confidence and will believe they can beat anybody despite the loss of Donovan, and they’ll want to push on and continue making history with another MLS Cup title in 2015.

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The departure of Donovan could be a blessing in disguise for Keane as the Galaxy fans will be looking to him as their standalone cult hero, and we know that fans in MLS certainly get behind their players.

He is one of the most experienced players in MLS and will go down in the same category as Thierry Henry when he retires too.

We excitedly await the new campaign and are looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.

Will Robbie Keane impress again next season in MLS?

2014 MLS Season Review: LA Galaxy

Western Conference Final Position: 2nd

Western Conference Playoffs: Winners

MLS Cup Winners 2014

Review

Putting it simply, 2014 has been an excellent season for LA Galaxy. They have won the MLS Cup, but not just that, they have made history by winning a record fifth title and now become the most successful club in the history of the competition. It has made for a fairytale ending for club legend Landon Donovan who has now retired.

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Best Moment

Many will look to Robbie Keane‘s 111th minute winner in the MLS Cup Final as the clear front-runner for the greatest moment of 2014 for LA Galaxy, and rightly so. However, without Juninho‘s strike in the second-leg of the Western Conference championship tie away at Seattle Sounders, they would never have had the opportunity to lift the title.

Worst Moment

The one low point of the season will be the 2-0 defeat at Seattle Sounders in the last game of the regular season which saw their Western Conference rivals win the Supporters’ Shield.

Player of the Year

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Robbie Keane was the Major League Soccer MVP and although the LA Galaxy team was filled with great performers in 2014 such as Landon Donovan, Gyasi Zardes and Marcelo Sarvas – to name just a few – he gets the nod for player of the year. His winning goal in the MLS Cup Final against New England Revolution was a priceless moment that only emphasised his importance to this Galaxy side.

Biggest Win

LA Galaxy 6-0 Colorado Rapids (September 6 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Columbus Crew 4-1 LA Galaxy (August 16 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

First and foremost, the Galaxy will need to try and find a suitable replacement for Landon Donovan. Finding a player to replace the aura that Donovan leaves behind is near impossible, but they will need to look for someone who possesses a similar level of ability – not an easy task.

Another pointer would be to try and hit the ground running in 2015. They came out of the traps slowly at the beginning of the 2014 campaign, picking up just two wins from their first eight games, which handed the initiative to their rivals immediately. They need to set the benchmark early on next time around.