CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane summarized his feelings after defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0 to take home the MLS Cup on Sunday night with one word:
For Keane, winning the title to round out the double – the Galaxy also won the Supporters’ Shield as the team with the best regular season record – was the culmination of a whirlwind three months.
“It feels great [to win the MLS Cup],” he told reporters after the match. “You saw the celebration at the end, how much it means to everyone. For me to be here a few months and win a championship, I’m obviously very pleased.”
Since arriving in Los Angeles in August as the team’s newest Designated Player, the Ireland international has proven to be one of the most – if not the most – dangerous player on the field for the Galaxy, using quick bursts of speed and smart runs to put tons of pressure on opposing defenses. Although he was limited to just four appearances in the regular season, Keane managed to score twice and added an assist.
In four playoff games, he added another goal and an assist, the latter a game-winning helper to Landon Donovan in the final.
“People – justifiably so – see Robbie as a goal scorer, but he’s a great soccer player,” Donovan said in the postgame press conference. “I remember the first day he got out here, watching him pass the ball I was really impressed and I realized what a good passer he was. The pass he gave me for the goal was fantastic, absolutely world class.”
That pass came in the 72nd minute. After missing a handful of chances throughout the match, and after Keane himself had a goal waived off at the beginning of the second half due to an offsides call, the Irishman took a pass from David Beckham and slipped a throughball to Donovan, who slotted past Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
“When you’re playing with good players, it makes your job a lot easier,” Keane said. “On the goal, [Donovan and I] linked up quite well and he managed to come off and I slipped him through and he scored.
“I was confident [Donovan would score],” he added. “When a striker goes through, you always hope that they’re going to score. It was a great finish for him.”
Although Donovan won MVP of the match honors for his heroics, the honor could have just as easily gone to Keane. But winning the Cup was reward enough for Keane.
“As a player, you want to win everything you’re involved in,” he said. “I know how important it is to everyone to win the championship. That was the measure I got when I signed for the club, that they were desperate to win this. We’ve achieved it [Sunday].”
Trips to Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines await the Galaxy as part of the team’s 2011 Asia Pacific Tour from Nov. 30 through Dec. 6. After thatc omes some much-deserved rest before the club turns its sights a new year, a new season, and perhaps more trophies.
“The season is finished now and hopefully next year will be even better,” said Keane.