When the LA Galaxy acquire new weapons, they always go for the big guns.
On Monday, the MLS-leading Galaxy officially announced that they had come to terms with Irish international Robbie Keane, the 10th all-time leading scorer in English Premier League history. He arrives on a transfer from EPL side Tottenham Hotspur.
Keane, who will join the club’s roster upon receipt of his visa paperwork, will be a Designated Player, meaning that the Galaxy will have to get rid of one of their current DPs: Landon Donovan, David Beckham or Juan Pablo Ángel. There are reports that Ángel, the former New York Red Bulls star, will be moved in a trade at some point this week, with Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union being mentioned as possible destinations.
Keane, 31, has long been rumored as a target of MLS teams. The Dublin native seems to have the tools and CV that would prove successful in the league.
“I have followed his career and have always respected his ability as a competitor and a goalscorer,” Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “I believe that he brings qualities in and around the penalty area that we have been lacking. Hopefully, he will be another piece of the puzzle in our quest for the Supporters’ Shield and an MLS Cup championship as well as to advance to the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League.”
With more than 325 EPL appearances, Keane has proven an effective goalscorer with nearly every team he has suited up for. He began his pro career as a 17-year-old with Wolverhampton Wanderers, for whom he notched 30 goals in two years in the 2nd division. After being sold to Coventry City, then in the EPL, in 2000, he struck 12 times and earned a transfer to Italian giants Inter Milan.
However, his stay in Italy was disappointing as he never made a league appearance. In January 2001, he was moved back to England, joining Leeds United and helping them reach the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.
In August 2002, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur, where he spent the next decade — except for one forgettable season with Liverpool — enjoying his greatest success as a goalscorer. In 238 total league appearances for Spurs, he struck 91 goals. During his time at White Hart Lane, Keane helped the club qualify for the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) and win the 2008 League Cup, the club’s only silverware since the turn of the century.
The Ireland captain is also his national team's all-time leading scorer, tallying 51 goals in 108 appearances for the Boys in Green.
Keane arrives in Southern California with the Galaxy sitting atop the Western Conference and tied for the third-best scoring record in MLS. He is expected to take up a starting spot immediately for the Galaxy attack, and the club hopes he will be the final piece to the puzzle in their quest to win their first MLS title since 2005.
“I have already discussed football with Bruce Arena and I know exactly what he wants from me,” Keane said in a statement. “I am fit, fresh and ready to go. I've come here to score goals and help this team achieve their goals. This is a massive opportunity for me in my career. I aim to grab it with both hands and hopefully help give the Galaxy fans what they want.”