Friday, August 19, 2011
LA Galaxy Agree to Terms With Ireland International Robbie Keane
The LA Galaxy today agreed to terms with Ireland National Team captain Robbie Keane. Keane, who will join the club from Tottenham Hotspur of England’s Premier League, will officially be added to the club’s roster upon receipt of his P-1 Visa. A proven goalscorer, Keane has scored more than 250 goals for club and country in a career that began in 1997 at the age of just 17 and has seen him become the tenth all-time leading goal scorer in the history of the Premier League. Per team and league regulations, details of the contract were not released.
As the Galaxy currently have three designated players, the club will have to make a change prior to their adding Keane, 31, to the roster.
“I am delighted, honored and very excited to be joining the LA Galaxy,” Keane said. “I have always wanted to come and play in MLS so it’s the perfect combination for me and a dream come true. My family and I have already been made to feel very welcome in telephone calls from Tim Leiweke and Bruce Arena. Also when David Beckham came and trained at Spurs recently he couldn't speak highly enough about the Galaxy, their fans and the league in general, so I can’t wait to get over and get started.”
A native of Dublin, Keane has made 108 career appearances for his country, scoring 51 goals to make him Ireland’s all-time leading goal scorer. A member of Ireland’s squad at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Keane scored three times in four games at the tournament. Prior to joining the senior national team, Keane helped Ireland win the 1998 UEFA U-16 European Championship and the UEFA U-18 European Championship that same year. Ireland are currently tied for first place in Group B of qualifying for the 2012 European Championship, with Keane scoring five goals in six matches.
“Robbie Keane will be a great addition to our club. I have followed his career and have always respected his ability as a competitor and a goalscorer,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “I believe that he brings qualities in and around the penalty area that we have been lacking. Hopefully, he will be another piece of the puzzle in our quest for the Supporters’ Shield and an MLS Cup championship as well as to advance to the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League.”
“On behalf of the Galaxy, I would like to specifically thank Tottenham Hotspur Executive Chairman Daniel Levy for all of his hard work and dedication in completing this transfer. Spurs are a first rate club and these negotiations were handled with the utmost professionalism throughout,” AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke added. “Additionally, I would like to welcome Robbie Keane to MLS and the LA Galaxy. He is a tremendous talent and I look forward to watching him score goals and help our club achieve the goals that we have set forth for ourselves and our fans.”
Keane began his club career in England with Wolverhampton Wanderers, debuting in 1997 at the age of 17, scoring twice in his first game as a professional. Two years later, after scoring nearly 30 goals for Wolves, Keane was sold to Coventry City of the Premier League, scoring twice on his debut there and finishing the season with 12 goals before moving to Italy to join Inter Milan in the summer of 2000. He scored three times in six months with Inter before returning to England on loan to Leeds United in January 2001.
His transfer to Leeds was made permanent in May 2001, but he played just one full season with the club, helping them reach the semifinals of the 2001 UEFA Champions League, before joining Tottenham Hotspur for the first time in August 2002. He would go on to appear in more then 250 games in six seasons for Spurs, scoring more than 100 goals, tallying at least 10 goals each year. In each of his final three seasons with Spurs he helped the club qualify for the UEFA Cup while also helping them win the 2008 League Cup, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the Final for the club’s first trophy in nearly a decade.
“I have already discussed football with Bruce Arena and I know exactly what he wants from me,” Keane added. “I am fit, fresh and ready to go. I've come here to score goals and help this team achieve their goals. This is a massive opportunity for me in my career. I aim to grab it with both hands and hopefully help give the Galaxy fans what they want.”
In July 2008, Keane joined Liverpool for a transfer fee of more then $30 million, only to re-join Spurs in February 2009 after scoring seven goals, including two in the Champions League, in nearly 30 games at Anfield. He scored five goals over the second half of the 2008-09 season for Tottenham and added nine more in the first half of the following season before joining Celtic of the Scottish Premier League on loan in February 2010. He appeared in 19 games for the Glasgow-based club, scoring 16 times to be named the club’s Fans’ Player of the Year.
Keane spent the first half of last season with Tottenham before going on loan once again, joining West Ham United, scoring twice in 10 games for the club, though he could not help them avoid relegation.