CARSON, Calif -- LA Galaxy fans saw a familiar goal celebration on Tuesday night as they watched their team absorb a stunning 6-2 defeat to Real Salt Lake, but the cartwheels and finger guns associated with Robbie Keane were coming from someone else.
Kyle Beckerman, who’s been with RSL long enough to have seen plenty of Keane goals scored against him, scored on a diving header past Galaxy keeper Clement Diop after Albert Rusnak’s corner kick beat the pack and fell to him unmarked.
Letting instinct take over, Beckerman hit the finger guns, took a tumble, then switched back to the finger guns right in front of the Galaxy’s Angel City Brigade supporter section.
Beckerman laughed when asked if it was premeditated.
“No, I kinda blacked out,” said Beckerman. “I’ve got so much respect for that guy and he’s done that to us plenty of times. That was just a tribute to him.”
Keane scored seven goals in all competitions in his career against RSL, making the celebration a familiar one for Beckerman.
Head coach Mike Petke, who retired before playing against Robbie Keane in MLS but did coach against him, said he was too busy discussing strategy with his staff to see the celebration. Though he wasn't exactly shocked to hear about it.
“Did he really?” Said Petke, “Kyle’s a very spontaneous guy, he’s an experienced guy and a passionate guy. It doesn’t surprise me that he did something like that.”
The goal came at a perfect time for RSL, who were facing going into halftime tied after Ashley Cole scored a disputed goal that answered Rusnak’s opener. That kind of vigorous response typified the attitude RSL brought against a Galaxy club Beckerman insists he respects after seeing them in the playoffs five times.
“We’ve had some success and we’ve had some failures here,” said Beckerman. “But we always know it’s a tough game and it’s one that’s going to be a big challenge coming in. The guys, everybody really, we just seemed together we just had that extra - we wanted the game. Whatever that means. It just seems we wanted it more than they did tonight and that helped us get the win.”