“As a youngster in Dublin, I dreamt of playing in LA”…..so said Claudine Keane, probably. We may not have heard the exact phrase from her husband Robbie on his move to LA Galaxy but almost. The Tallaght kid who grew up dreaming of playing for Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan, Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool, Spurs again, Celtic, West Ham and Spurs again also grew up fantasising about playing for LA Galaxy it would seem, if the MLS club statement is anything to go by.
The Ireland captain’s surprise move to America has left many wondering if it is a winding down of the 31-year-old’s career or one last stab at glory.
“I have always wanted to come and play in MLS so it’s the perfect combination for me and a dream come true,” said Robbie, echoing pretty much what he said about every one of the previous moves he has made.
The tenth top scorer in Premier League history and record goal getter for his country couldn’t secure a transfer to keep him among England’s elite sides.
Rather than drop down to the Championship, Keane has opted for California and the lower standards of football but the higher standards of living that he is accustomed to. MLS fans refer to LA Galaxy as the Real Madrid of America because of their spending power.
Keane has been dogged by accusations that he wouldn’t compromise on exorbitant wage demands to secure a move away from Spurs and this transfer to LA won’t do anything to contradict them.
He is in a sensational run of form for his country and one has to wonder if the lower quality of the MLS will affect his international standing, though Giovanni Trapattoni has endorsed the move. For a player who has always expressed his unfaltering desire to turn out for Ireland at every opportunity, it will be interesting to see if trekking back and forth from the States for Republic duty will see Keane begin to skip games.
We should also remember the MLS season ends in November so will Keane be back searching for an English club for the American off-season?
Still, we can hardly blame Robbie and Claudine for choosing to retire in LA if no other club would come in for him. It’s better than Glasgow isn’t it?