Robbie Keane bullish after sublime opener against New York
Ireland captain says he’s getting better after scoring two in four-goal rout of New York
Robbie Keane of Los Angeles Galaxy and Ireland in action against New York Red Bulls at the StubHub Center on Sunday. Photograph: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The Ireland captain brought his tally to 17 for the season and in the process produced another sublime chip to match the one he scored against Chivas recently.
After receiving the ball from Landon Donovan - who scored one and assisted three on the night - on the right handside of the box in the eighth minute, the Dubliner dropped his shoulder to shake off Red Bulls defender Roy Miller and deftly chipped goalkeeper Luis Robles for his 50th ‘regular season MLS goal’.
Donovan doubled the lead five minutes after the break when pouncing on a loose touch by defender Chris Duvall and finishing emphatically. Gyasi Zardes added the third in the 69th minute after a neat one-two with Donovan. Keane wrapped up the win against Thiery Henry’s side when keeping his head to finish at the second attempt after Robles denied his first effort following Donovan’s chip over the top.
When it was put to Keane that his performances suggest he is at his most comfortable since he arrived in LA in 2011, the 34-year-old said: “They say this every year . . . they say MVP (most valuable player) every year and I don’t win it so I prefer not to even speak about.
“In football the most important thing is consistency. If your are consistent every year and you continue and strive to do better than what you did the year before, and every year I’ve been here I’ve done that, that’s all you can ask for.
“Sixteen goals last year, the year before 16, more assists last year than the year before, more assists this year and more goals this year. As a player, I challenge myself every season to do that. As long as you have a challenge in your own mind . . . I’m satisfied. I’m satisfied with what I’ve done this season, as I said, my aim every year is to do better than the year before.”
Asked if he had ever scored a better goal than his opener, Keane responded: “About three weeks ago, against Chivas,” before adding: “If you ask the players in training, I’m always doing it.
“Whether it comes off or not, I try and do it. Tonight it came off. A couple weeks ago against Chivas it came off.”
Ireland fans will hope Keane can bring this sort of form and confidence into the international break when he links up with Martin O’Neill’s squad ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifiers at home to Gibraltar (October 11th) and away to Germany (october 14th).