LA's Keane comments on red card controversy vs. Metapan

Robbie Keane

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CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane acknowledges he could have handled things better on Thursday night when he received a red card after he was initially whistled for a dive vs. Isidro Metapan during CONCACAF Champions League play.

The Irishman, who felt he was fouled on the play, says he quickly worked his way beyond the red card which will see him suspended for the Galaxy's second CCL Group 5 match against the Puero Rico Islanders on Wednesday.

“It's tough [to be suspended], but maybe it's a good opportunity for the other players to get minutes under their belts,” Keane said after training Saturday in his first public comments since Thursday's game. “I know I'll be ready for [Sunday's Major League Soccer game against FC Dallas], and I'll put all my energy into that.”

Mexican referee Alfredo Peñaloza cautioned Keane despite the fact that it looked like the player was taken down just outside Metapan's box. The Galaxy forward reacted to the yellow card with exasperation, signaling first that he wanted to be substituted and then crossing his arms in a slashing motion as if to say, “No more.”

Keane also had some choice words for Peñaloza, who then pulled out the red card.

“It should have been a foul [against Metapan],” midfielder Mike Magee said after the game. “The [referee] decided he was going top puff his chest out and give Robbie a yellow, and then, obviously, Robbie didn't have a great reaction with it. [Peñaloza] should have just called the foul in the first place.”

Keane admitted he didn't respond as he should have, but says it's all in the past.

“Right after the game, I was finished [with it],” he said. “I can't let it stay because referees are making stupid decisions, so if it was a bad tackle, then I hold my hand up -- I'm a quite honest person.

“The referee made a terrible decision, so I was shocked that he gave me a yellow card, to be honest with you. I probably shouldn't have said what I said afterward, but I was more in shock and disbelief.”

Keane will get a break from club action when he joins the Republic of Ireland for World Cup qualifying after his latest international call-up on Friday. He will join Giovanni Trapattoni's squad after the Galaxy's Sept. 1 match vs. Vancouver.