This isn’t conjecture, this is truth: in the parity-ridden world of Major League Soccer, if you are [insert designated player here] and you can’t finish, your team does not deserve to win. Instead, as a fitting alternative, it deserves to do what it is really clutch, really old-hat, really… proficient at, and that is: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
May 19, 2013; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls fans Joao Rodrigues (left) and Hector Smith Rueda (center) and Brendan Westley (right) prior to the game between the New York Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
It’s a last resort that Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane has been accustomed to by now. If he isn’t accustomed to this notion, he hasn’t been in this league long enough and he has been with his team long enough. Keano has in both departments and he probably saw this one coming before this match on a Sunday afternoon between Bruce Arena’s Galaxy and Mike Petke New York Red Bulls even got underway in the rainy confines of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Despite generating space, Keane was not good with his passing, earning just a 67 percent pass success rate on 36 touches to go with three unsuccessful flick-ons, according to the Opta Chalkboard. Ouch. Keane did have five key passes in terms of distribution, so that has to count for something.
Defensively, Keane only generated four recoveries. In terms of fouls, the Irishman won four of them and lost possession on the challenge 15 times. But the one major event that summed up Keane’s sorry efforts this game was in the 89th minute, when his header missed wide right of goal.
That would a crucial miss along the lines of a death knell for the Galaxy, as two minutes later, Tim Cahill—one of the most storied Socceroos since Harry Kewell—taught Keane a lesson worth learning: if you don’t finish your chances, I will finish mine’s. Just. Watch. Me.
Now, on my Bold Predictions for this game, I called for more goals than this. I didn’t expect this to be the defensive hamburger grinderfest that it was. But even so, the best players in this league finish, period.
With Juninho potentially out of commission (no, not that Juninho, the other Juninho that View rates on this blog as par he ist of the Los Angeles Galaxy), and Mike Magee out of the lineup, the pressure will be on Robbie Keane to atone for his shortcomings in instigating the successful ploy of Los Angeles snatching defeat from the jaws of victory next weekend against the Seattle Sounders.
Somebody sound the alarm.