LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane only played 45 minutes in Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League clash at Guatemala’s Comunicaciones FC but he still managed to make quite an impression in his substitute outing.
As well as bagging a brace to help LA earn a 5-0 win over their Group D foes, the Irish striker also found the time to show off the neat footwork that has helped him become one of the shining stars of MLS since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in August 2011.
Courtesy of the Galaxy’s official Twitter account, here’s the 35-year-old front man strutting his stuff:
Dublin Globetrotter. pic.twitter.com/qrJ4pUclhx— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) August 19, 2015
Keane might not have even featured in the match against Comunicaciones, however, had he not insisted to head coach Bruce Arena that he suit up for the second-half with the visitors 2-0 up.
Speaking to the MLS club’s official website after the match, Arena joked: "My thinking was that I'd either get punched in the face by Robbie or I'd play him. He wanted to play. At my age, I have to bend a little bit!”
"Maybe not once, probably twice," was Keane’s response, before adding with a laugh. "I always want to play. When you're on the bench, you always want to play. The most important thing though was that we got some of the other guys minutes."
When you’ve had the kind of success that Keane has with the Galaxy, though, special treatment is to be expected.
Since arriving in LA, the former Tottenham, Liverpool and Leeds United forward has scored an impressive 66 goals in 100 MLS regular-season appearances, while also winning the league’s MVP award last term after helping the club claim their third title in four campaigns.
A nagging groin strain saw him restricted to just five starts in the first 17 games of this season but the Republic of Ireland international has since been in scintillating form after returning to full fitness, netting 11 times over the past nine league matches.
After bagging another brace in a five-minute spell during the second-half of last weekend’s 2-1 win at FC Dallas, talk of more MVP honours is even starting to surface and the ex-Celtic loanee admits that he has his sights set on a second-straight award.
“I always want to win, you know? I always want to be successful,” Keane told MLSSoccer.com after clinching LA their seventh win in nine MLS games. “I keep saying every year, I always want to better myself every year. This year might be a little bit difficult [to better my numbers from 2014], in terms of I was out for two months [with a groin injury], but if you look at goals per game and assists, it's probably up there with the best I've had.”
He has some work to do to catch up to the other main contenders – Sebastian Giovinco, Kei Kamara and Benny Feilhaber – but the in-form Galaxy skipper will certainly be in the conversation come the season’s end if his current form continues.