You can’t fault the lack of effort and drive from a footballer like Robbie Keane.
Keane is an experienced striker that dons the strip of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy with pride. The problem here is that he is guilty of not being wise and creative with his finishing against any given opponent, despite generating space and making runs.
The 67th minute against Victor Vucinich’s Club de Football Monterrey was an example of this. Of the three players that missed sitters for LA (Sean Franklin, Landon Donovan and Keane), Keane’s is the most damning of them all because a simple tap would have been enough. It forced goalkeeper Juan de Dios Ibarra to make the best save of the night for either team in the match.
That play and that save added to what was a dreadful last 30 minutes of play from Los Angeles and a typical last 30 minutes of play from Club de Futbol Monterrey. Aside from that one chance that Keane will rue for a while, he also had a 74 percent pass success rate, five recoveries, an interception, five layoffs and three key passes.
Oh yes, and Keane also had an assist on the goal by A.J. DeLaGarza in the 28th minute, the only offensive sequence that the Galaxy were able to profit from all night. Some ROI for this ROI international. (I leave it to you to figure out those acronyms.)
“We actually played a very good game tonight. I think a little bit more experience and a little bit more quality; we win this game by a couple of goals, but we ended up losing,” said Arena to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “Credit to Monterrey for their quality and for playing a complete 90 minutes.
“There are clear lessons for our team: the kind of concentration you need, the experience, the tactical understanding. You know, so what if we don’t get the second goal, we win the game 1-0. That’s it. So obviously, we didn’t do the job that we needed to do.
“If we don’t concede, we walk away with a win tonight and position ourselves better to go into Monterrey. Now going into Monterrey is obviously going to be very difficult and that’s going to be our challenge.”
The onus will now be on Keane to actually be a hero, lead by example and finish. Great players finish the chances when a chance to reach the final a regional tournament is on the line. The finish must be there for Keano, or FC Dallas, the next opponent on the schedule, will be smelling blood in the water.