CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane is still in demand in Europe during this MLS offseason, but the LA Galaxy striker couldn't care less.
Despite having received calls from clubs across the pond, Keane said he is interested in only one thing now that his participation with the Galaxy in 2011 is complete.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to relax,” Keane said. “I have a few niggles to clear up and will look forward to getting back in January.”
Keane, 31, has enjoyed stellar success in the brief time he has been a member of the Galaxy. He scored in his LA debut, added another regular season goal, scored in CONCACAF Champions League play and had a goal in the Galaxy’s successful MLS Cup playoff run. LA's MLS Cup title, in which he contributed the game-winning assist in the final, was followed by an Asia Pacific tour that featured matches in Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia, where Keane starred again.
Along the way, he also fulfilled his duty as Republic of Ireland captain, helping his country secure a spot in Euro 2012 – just the second time ever Ireland have reached a European Championship.
It’s clearly time for a break.
“It would be stupid to go anywhere to play for a couple of weeks off,” he said. “It’s been a tough schedule for me for the last three months, doing a lot of traveling once a month since I’ve been here.”
If Keane were to arrange for a loan deal during the offseason, he would have little rest by the time Euro 2012 comes around.
“That’s the reason why I’m going to take the rest off now,” Keane said. “I’ve been getting a few phone calls from various clubs, but I’ll take this time off now to rest. I’ll be only a few months into the season, so I should be fit [for the Euros], where the lads back in the UK have a long, long season ahead of them without any rest.”
Having spent his entire career in Europe prior to joining MLS, Keane has been accustomed to playing through winters until this year. Although the offseason comes at a different part of the calendar, Keane’s approach to this offseason will remain the same.
“I’ll just do exactly what I do in the offseason if I was in England,” Keane said. “I’ll take these weeks to relax. I feel it a little bit, I feel a few niggles here and there. I’ll take a good few weeks off and look forward to getting back.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.