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Robbie Keane scores in his debut for LA Galaxy

posted 21 Aug 2011, 05:05 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Aug 2011, 05:08 ]
Irishman Robbie Keane leads L.A. Galaxy to 2-0 victory with a goal in his first game as an MLS player.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 20, 2011) REUTERS -   The newest member of the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team started his American tour of duty with a bang.

On Saturday night (August 20, 2011) Irish national team captain Robbie Keane scored the first goal of the night as he hit the field for his inaugural game with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Keane had only practiced with his new teammates one time prior to putting on jersey number 14 for the match against rival California club the San Jose Earthquakes. The 31-year-old European athlete just inked a two-year, six million dollar (USD) deal with the L.A. Galaxy on Monday (August 15, 2011).

Fans talked about their hopes for Keane ahead of the game.

"I heard that he's a great player," smiled local resident and L.A. Galaxy fan Giovanni Ortiz, 10.

Leo Vatslan drove more than four hours from Las Vegas to watch the game. he said he has high hopes for Keane.

"Well, he's a big striker. You know, he's an Irish captain I believe, yeah. So, it's pretty exciting."

"I don't know about him," commented Pascal Cooper of Los Angeles. "I just know that he's like a really awesome player and we have a new guy."

Long-time L.A. Galaxy fan and team booster club member Lily Pickel said she is happy about the arrival of Keane.

"Really nice. I'm looking forward to it. We need a goal scorer, you know. Angel didn't do it. Let's see if Keano can do it."

The fast-moving forward comes to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States from the English Premier League team the Tottenham Hotspurs. According to an L.A. Galaxy press release, Keane has scored more than 250 goals for his club and country in a career that began in 1997 when he was 17. The solid track record makes the 31-year-old athlete the tenth all-time leading goal scorer in the history of the Premier League.

At a post-game press conference Keane talked about playing with David Beckham.

"Yeah, I mean, when you play with good players it's always easy, and I think you've seen where, you know, a goal tonight, you know, David's, quick thinking. And I was ready for him. So, we tried on a few occasions. And again, lucky enough, it worked for the goal. I mean, when you're playing with people like David, and Landon. Players like that whose quick thinking and wants to play the ball quick, you know, it's easy to play with."

He shared his thoughts about building teamwork as he gets settled.

"I been here two days, so it's very difficult to get to know players, and, you know, one training session and one game, and as the games will go on, you know, three or four more games, I'll get to know the players even better. And that will give meself and the players a better understanding and hopefully that will make us a better team."

Keane said he was pleased to be able to play 70 minutes of the game.

"I felt, I felt good, considering that I've only tried once with the lads. I felt sharp. Of course, you know, towards the second half you're going to feel a little bit tired. So to get 70 minutes under me belt that's certainly going to stand me in good stead for coming games."

The signing of the Irishman means his club now have a trio of world-class players capable of bringing the Galaxy their first MLS championship since 2005.

In addition to the Spurs, Keane has also played for Liverpool, Inter Milan, Celtic, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United, Leeds United and Coventry City.