The Republic of Ireland needs Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane to do good, to do well, and represent his countrymen to the best of his ability.
May 26, 2013; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) controls the ball against the defense of Seattle Sounders defender Deindre Yedlin (2) during the first half at Home Depot Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It starts with performing above and beyond expections for his club. On Sunday night, at the soon-to-be-renamed Home Depot Center, Keane did well in scoring a natural hat trick against Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders en route to a comprehensive 4-0 victory.
Keane got the ball rolling with an assist to Sean Franklin in the Galaxy’s attacking this in the 12th minute of play. Then, 12 minutes after the first goal, Keane took advantage of a ricochet from Seattle’s Brad Evans to slam it past Michael Spurning.
10 minutes later, Keane proved why he deserves to be the captain this year for the Galaxy: he knows how to convert penalties. After Gyasi Zardes won the penalty for LA following a challege by Djimi Traore, Keane’s first attempt was saved, but Baldomero Toledo called encroachment on Mauro Rosales, one of a slew of event that left the Sounders unglued for 90 minutes. Keane converted, and it was 3-0 LA.
Another 10 minutes later, Juninho won a second penalty after Evans tackled him in the box. keane slotted that home, and that was all LA needed. Late in the second half, Keane was subbed for Jose Villareal.
On the Opta Chalkboard, Keane had a 78 percent pass success rate, four lay offs and a key pass in terms of distribution. Defensively, he had five recoveries and a defensive block. A 43 percent dribble success rate didn’t take away from his leadership and efficient play.
This performance is sure to give Keane the confidence and momentum he needs to help the Republic of Ireland in FIFA World Cup Qualification play, as well as their friendlies with the big dogs.
May 26, 2013; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) celebrates after scoring his third goal of the first half against the Seattle Sounders at Home Depot Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
“From the first minute of the game I thought we set the tone that ‘get in their faces’ and ‘don’t give them a second on the ball’ and that stopped them from playing,” Keane told the press. “It worked obviously in our favor because every time we got the ball we moved it quickly and kept sneaking balls off of them and made it very, very difficult for them. In the first half I thought we played very, very well.
“It’s obviously always nice to score. One, two, three or four, it really doesn’t matter. As a striker, ultimately, you are judged on scoring goals, so of course it’s great to score the hat trick but the most important thing is getting the three points and bouncing back after the defeat last week against Red Bulls, which we certainly didn’t deserve to lose.”
Of course, Keane admit that this weekend belonged all the same to the other Robbie. That, of course, would be Robbie Rogers.
“He got a great reception from the fans,” Keane said of Rogers. “I’m sure he’s delighted to get that off his back now and now maybe, after this press conference, he can concentrate on just being totally part of the team and being a Galaxy player and none of this nonsense that comes along with it. So I’m sure after this it will be all over and he can just concentrate now on being a Galaxy player.”
Robbie and…Robbie, take a bow, both of you. This was your weekend.