Robbie Keane probably woke up late this morning, had some breakfast in bed, and maybe kicked the ball around with his son in his apartment downtown at the Ritz Carlton. He had plenty of time to relax since he didn’t have to worry about driving anywhere to accept his MLS MVP award. Instead he walked up the stairs to the 24th floor, met with the press and collected his sparkly trophy.
There had been a lot of chatter about Lee Nguyen winning the award this year, and he certainly has been outstanding for New England, but when it comes down to the numbers, Keane was just better. Plus New England doesn’t arrive in LA until tomorrow, so Nguyen was never going to win it, was he? Keane’s 19 goals and 14 assists were the most in the league, and he has led the most potent attack in Major League Soccer, participating in nearly half of LA Galaxy’s 69 goals on the season.
Keane quietly accepted his award and had lots of praise for what the team has done this season, but made it very clear he wasn’t thinking about anything else besides Sunday’s MLS Cup Final. “There’s still one more game to go. I’m looking forward to having it back in LA and to play in front of the home fans.”
Keane seemed very collected and humble during the press conference and when asked why he seemed so shocked pointed out, “I wouldn’t say I was shocked (to win it), they’d say I was big headed — but it could have gone to the other two lads.”
Not that he had to tell us explicitly — the numbers don’t lie, but when he was asked how his experience in LA has been, he explained, “I’m not here for a vacation, this is the third championship we’ve been to in my four years…so it hasn’t gone too bad.”
But forget the goals — what really separates Keane from his fellow professionals? He says, “Consistency…every year I set a goal to do better than the previous year…score more goals and have more assists.” And he’s done just that, improving in both goals and assists in each successive season that he’s been here — the guy is 34 and still getting better.
Mr. Consistency can lead his side to their third MLS Cup victory in four years this Sunday. He’s already beaten Lee Nguyen to one piece of silverware this year — now it’s time for the big one.