According to an article on Sky Sports quoting an interview with “Soccer AM” (I’d watch the video but apparently the United States isn’t ready for that kind of hot content / regional media restrictions and such) Robbie Keane has not received a new contract from the LA Galaxy yet.
Sky Sports quotes Keane as saying “It’s out of my hand and it’s up to the club to come and speak to me. But if not, then no problem, I’ll move on and find somewhere where I’m wanted.” Keane says “I think I’ve done well for the club and I’d love to stay.”
In Keane’s defense he is arguably the most successful Designated Player signing in the history of the league. He’s scored 79 goals in Major League Soccer (including the post season where he’s scored 9) and appeared in 134 games (includes postseason of 17 appearances). He’s also added 51 assists in both regular and post season play. He also contributed from the very start. Joining midway through the season in 2011 and quickly making an impact by helping the LA Galaxy to the MLS Cup.
During his six years in the League Robbie Keane has won 3 MLS Cup titles and has helped lead the way to a dominating record and he’s become the poster child for they type of International Designated Player teams should try and capture.
It was generally understood, but never confirmed, that Keane’s contract was up at the end of the 2016 season. And this report seems to lend itself to the same timeline.
But with his age at 36 years old it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for the LA Galaxy to be cautious in signing him to anything further. While he’s still producing, he’s played in just 9 games out of 19 total in league play this season. The 10 games he’s missed can be chalked up to early year injuries and his long stint with Ireland as they made their way through the Euro’s. It should also be noted that in his 9 games he’s scored 6 goals. So the production is still there.
The real question comes from the LA Galaxy. With Designated Player spots being limited to just three they become very valuable. So is it possible that the Galaxy could use his spot for someone better? Or is the risk too great that with his age you’d be signing a Designated Player that would spend more time on the training table than the field?
Robbie Keane is fairly settled on his position, once again speaking to Soccer AM. “My choice is to stay here. I’m settled here. If I’m still producing on the field then there’s no reason why I should leave this place.”
It may sound simple to Robbie Keane, but when looked at from the LA Galaxy’s position it all sounds like they’ll take a wait and see approach. If Robbie Keane can finish this season strongly, staying healthy and producing at a consistent rate, then it might be feasible to see the Galaxy extend his contract another year. But if he wobbles during the home stretch it may be up to Bruce Arena to make the hard decision and not re-sign an LA Galaxy legend.
But could a compromise be worked out? Would Robbie Keane ever consider a Non-Designated Player contract? A solution that might make everyone happy?
Regardless of the final answer, Robbie Keane deserves a statue in front of the stadium. There can be no arguing about that.