If there is one player of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy worthy of the captain’s armband, it’s Robbie Keane. He’s been captain numerous times before, including the captain of the Republic of Ireland national team. He’s a leader of the pitch, and a very reliable scorer.
Now teamed up with Mike Magee up top, Keano’s leadership and football savvy were on display on Sunday afternoon in the Galaxy’s 4-0 shutout victory over the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center. Keane scored in the 80th minute of play after earning an assist in the 68th minute.
Looking at the distribution on the Opta Chalkboard, which you can see here, Keane had a 82 percent pass success rate, a through ball, three layoffs and two key passes to go with an assist. For a forward that is used primarily to finish the play, this wasn’t too bad.
Keane was unlucky to have two of his shots blocked by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who made six saves on the day despite the outcome. He had three on target and one off target. In terms of possession, he has six unsuccessful dribbles, lost possession on a challenge 10 times and only won one foul.
He was not going to win the favors of match referee Kevin Stott on Sunday afternoon, but that didn’t stop Robbie Keane from being the experienced field general that he is.
Of course, the day wasn’t about Keane. It was about Magee. After all, who else was worthy of giving the fans 30 percent off all hats at the stadium’s Team LA Store on Sunday?
“You see the quality that he has,” Keane told reporters. “The three goals he scored were exceptional goals. He’s really important to this team, and he showed that today. It was a good start to the season, exactly what we wanted, so we can kick on from there.”
And to an extent, it was about the playing surface and the improvements in play. That leads us to the seventh thing we learned in addition to the other six: wetter fields lead to faster play…and more goals.
“The pitch was a lot wetter in the second half,” Keane said of the pitch. “They soaked it before the game and it had dried up. It was quite difficult to get the ball moving because it was so dry. In the second half the pitch was perfect, very wet. You can see the difference in the passing and the speed of play—that’s where we got our goals from.”
Hopefully, the grounds crew can water the field just before each half to allow for more excitement. A good playing surface, great leadership and a capable scorer alongside up top lead to a great rating for Robbie Keane. Here’s to more along the way.