CARSON, Calif. – Tottenham Hotspur are in town to kick off their three-game US tour, and the best thing about their Southern California swing has nothing to do with beaches, the weather nor the chance to hang out with Hollywood stars.
It's all about Robbie Keane.
The Irish striker, who will captain the LA Galaxy in Tuesday night's friendly at Home Depot Center (10:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online), played all or parts of eight seasons over two stints with Tottenham, and it was his move last summer from the north London side to MLS that spawned this exhibition.
“We saw him today,” Spurs captain Michael Dawson said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “It was good to see his face. Seven-and-a-half years ago, when I signed for Tottenham, he was vice captain and the player who certainly helped me settle in. The first day he took me and showed me around London, and we've been friends ever since.”
Keane has fond memories of his time with the club, which included a brief training stint last winter before a short-term loan deal with Aston Villa was worked out.
“It's obviously a club that I've got a big affiliation towards, and it's a club I've had quite a successful time there as a player,” he said. “[I'm] actually looking forward to playing against the players I've played with for a long time.”
Keane doesn't expect to play much, not after three games in an eight-day span and with a trip looming to play FC Dallas this weekend, and that's fine by him.
“It's unfortunate that we've had three games in a week, so it's a game, to be honest with you, the players don't really need,” he said. “It's more probably for Tottenham, for preseason preparation for them, for the start of the season.”
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena confirmed as much.
“We're going to let a couple of young players get a chance,” he said. “For me [Tuesday], it's about limiting minutes to players who have played a lot and giving other players an opportunity. Very similar to, I'm sure, what Tottenham will do.”
Chad Barrett is back in camp with the Galaxy following a week's trial with Norwegian club Valerenga, but with no news to report, he declined to speak with media on Monday.
Arena said the Galaxy was “waiting for [Valerenga's] response this week” on whether they want to acquire the eight-year MLS veteran.
Might Barrett play against Tottenham?
“It's a possibility,” Arena said. “Nothing's definite at this point.”