Robbie Keane and his LA Galaxy teammates have been sampling some Irish delights during their preseason stay in Dublin.
The LA Galaxy have been getting a taste of captain Robbie Keane’s native Ireland during the first leg of their European tour, with a trip to the famed-Guinness Factory at the top of the agenda for their brief stopover.
Spending this week at the National Training Centre in Dublin before heading off to Sweden to continue their preseason preparations, Juninho, Baggio Husidic and Alan Gordon were pictured joining Keane in sampling the world’s foremost stout, with the forward excited to showcase the Emerald Isle to his teammates.
“It means a lot to me,” he told the club’s official website. “To go back home, see everybody, [and] bring the team to my country. Everyone’s excited this side of the pond and certainly over there, they’re looking forward to the game and the team training in Ireland.”
Nevertheless, the Republic of Ireland’s all-time-leader in caps and goals stressed that the reigning MLS Cup champions are travelling for business ahead of starting their title defence on March 6 when the 2015 season kicks off.
“As soon as we put the hard work, the effort in on the training field, we'll have some time to relax,” Keane said. “But the most important thing is we're over here to get ourselves ready for the start of the season.
“It's more about fitness and getting sharp. That's what preseason is all about,” he added. “You play the games, you get match-fit in games, but the results are not the big thing. Of course, you want to win every time you play, but more important is the fitness end. Come the sixth of March, we should be fit and ready to go.”
Keane, 34, earned his first league MVP award in 2014 after recording 19 goals and 14 assists in 29 regular-season appearances, before going on to score the winning extra-time goal in December’s 2-1 MLS Cup triumph over the New England Revolution.
The title being his third in four seasons since arriving in LA from Tottenham Hotspur in August 2011, the former Premier League star has proven himself an invaluable import, and head coach Bruce Arena believes his star man might just be the league’s great-ever signing.
“He’s the most valuable player. He’s won the most championships. There is a legacy of some great players when you think about [David] Beckham and Thierry Henry, there have been many others. The early days there was Roberto Donadoni, Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno, who were outstanding,” Arena told MLSsoccer.com.
“There have been a lot of top players in our league, but probably few that have achieved the success that Robbie has, both personally and with his goals. His professionalism day in, day out. His leadership of the team, his influence on our younger players, important qualities he brings to the club.
“He’s the most valuable player in our league right now and continues to maintain his international career with Ireland, which we think is great. He has certainly been a great addition, not only to LA Galaxy, but to Major League Soccer in the United States.”