The question is whether he'll do so in the Galaxy kit he's worn for the last five years, as he's out of contract with the five-time MLS champions.
The 2014 MLS MVP and four-time MLS Best XI honoree is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in league history. He has racked up a dazzling 83 goals and 45 assists in 125 regular-season games, along with nine goals and 6 assists in 21 postseason matches. His productivity did drop off during an injury-marred 2016 campaign, however, with 10 goals and two assists in 17 appearances (16 starts).
Keane, 36, may yet reach an agreement with the Galaxy. He and his family are by all accounts quite happy in Southern California, and should Steven Gerrard retire this winter as is widely expected, it would open up a Designated Player slot for a potential new showcase signing without requiring Keane to give up his DP status.
All that being said, LA still have yet to lock up the Irish legend for next season. So we're taking the liberty of some educated speculation about other MLS destinations where Keano could continue his illustrious career.
Not so long ago this might've sounded absurd. But the Rapids have suddenly skyrocketed into the MLS elite with this season's dramatic turnaround, and they're among the last four survivors in this year's race to MLS Cup, so Keane would remain in the thick of trophy contention. The Mile High Club's biggest need? The clever movement around goal and sharp finishing that is Keane's specialty.
Head coach Pablo Mastroeni has stressed the importance of a transformed club culture, something that a proven winner like Keano would bolster. And Colorado's ownership has done their part by splashing the cash on Designated Player deals for Tim Howard and Shkelzen Gashi this year, while Keane's longtime Ireland national teammate Kevin Doyle was recently bought down from DP status using Targeted Allocation Money.
Assuming they're back next year, Doyle and fellow Irishman Sean St. Ledger would help their countryman adjust to life on the Front Range. And if Keane preferred to commute so his family can remain in SoCal, Rapids star Jermaine Jones – who's adopted a similar habit – can share travel tips, and perhaps even go halfsies on a chartered jet now and then.
Entering 2016, the Whitecaps were billed by many observers (including yours truly...mea culpa) as dark horse MLS Cup contenders. But they drifted from 2015 playoff qualifiers to distant also-rans instead. There were many factors in VWFC's regression, but the lack of a dependable scoring option ranked at or near the top of the list.
In 2015 the 'Caps had four players net more than five goals in league play (Octavio Rivero, Kekuta Manneh, Cristian Techera and Pedro Morales). This season, the list shrank to one – only team leading scorer Morales, with nine tallies. Vancouver have been crying out for a proven finisher, and Keane is most definitely that. And even if his 2017 salary number is close to what he's been making at LA (no sure thing), it won't break the bank for the cost-conscious Canadians, whose fans have been calling for a big name or two.
Yes, the fact that BC Place features artificial turf might not be ideal for the Irishman's aging legs. But the new surface laid down in 2015 has gotten generally good reviews, including from Keane himself. And as a former MLS veteran himself, coach Carl Robinson – a close friend dating back to their days at Wolverhampton Wanderers, as you can see in the above photo (courtesy of WhitecapsFC.com) – will have a good understanding of how to regulate Keane's minutes for maximum health and efficiency.
Consider this a wild card: Keane is convinced to take a flyer as a veteran presence in an ambitious expansion side's maiden voyage. Given the traditional struggles of MLS newcomers, he might have to get used to life lower down the standings. But he could leave a powerful legacy at a new club in need of guidance in the locker room and recognizable faces in the community.
ATL's attack already includes the burly targetman Kenwyne Jones, whose hulking presence will open up space for a darting, savvy “fox in the box” like Keane. Winger Hector Villalba would provide a contrasting foil with width and verticality.
Manager Tata Martino has shown a preference for a high-tempo pressing style that might not suit Keane perfectly – but the striker can still put in the work, just in smaller spans as a supersub or platooned starter. One wrinkle to watch here: Keane's second stint at Tottenham Hotspur overlapped with Atlanta president Darren Eales' time as an executive at the London club.
Should your team take a run at King Keane? Share your suggestions in the comments section.