CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2014 and now the Irish striker says that he'll take a well-deserved break that is causing him to take stock in his career.
Keane will be returning on Friday to Ireland after a season that saw him undergo a grueling recovery from a pair of Achilles surgeries before scoring 21 goals and 17 assists across 34 games in the regular season and playoffs en route to his third MLS Cup title in four years.
But despite winning the MLS MVP in 2014 and boasting one year on his contract with the Galaxy, the Irishman admitted to reporters at the club's championship rally on Monday that he'll be looking to reevaluate where he wants to be in the coming years.
"First and foremost, I've got to worry about myself," he said. "I have to worry about what I'm going to do. I've had a tremendous four years here. I need a vacation and see what next year holds for me first. I'll look at that first and see what's best for Robbie Keane instead of worrying about anybody else. I'll take a vacation and then see what I want to do."
Such talk comes amid a report that Queens Park Rangers head coach Harry Redknapp (Keane’s former head coach at Tottenham Hotspur ) may be interested in bringing him to London on a short-term three month loan. Although the Irishman did not address such speculation, he did admit that he is considering his future.
“I definitely need to recharge the batteries and see what the next chapter is for me, whether it's here or it's somewhere else. I just need to take a break and consider,” Keane said. “I'm not saying I'm going to leave, but what I'm saying is I need to consider what I want to do, you know? Sometimes change is good for everybody.
But when told of Keane's remarks, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena shrugged off any talk about his captain leaving next season.
“I doubt that,” he said. “Where do you think he's going? I'm confident Robbie Keane will be back here next year.”
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. –Rob Friend is hanging up his boots.
The little-used Canadian forward announced his retirement on Monday at the club’s MLS Cup championship rally in Hermosa Beach. Friend made just 12 appearances for the Galaxy in all competitions while tallying just one assist for the club after joining in January.
Friend’s injury troubles began in July following the club’s friendly with Manchester United in what he described as a “freak accident” that occurred when a ball struck him in the forehead during training when he wasn’t looking. Since the injury, which he believes was only made worse due to repeated head injuries during his decade-long career; Friend has tried to make a recovery, but fallen short each time.
“I made a few attempts at a comeback, but it’s my body telling me that I’ve taken one too many hits to the head. I’m still struggling with a few symptoms and a lot of headaches. It’s a combination of that it is not worth it to maybe take one more hit,” Friend said. “I have to make that decision for myself and my family. I have hopefully a very long life ahead of me and I need to be a good father and a good husband to take care of my family. I don’t ever want to go through what I’ve been through with this concussion again.”
Although the decision seemed inevitable given his inability to return to the field, the striker admitted that he didn’t come to decision lightly as he saw specialists across North America as he considered returning to the game. But despite the bittersweet ending to this chapter in his life, Friend still admits that he can hold his head up high given his success across Europe throughout his career.
“It’s unfortunate. I wish the fans and the organization could have seen me at my best,” said Friend. “I’ll always take pride in my work ethic and attitude. I wasn’t a fancy player but I think that I have a lot of respect from every player and organization. I had a lot of highs especially playing in the Bundesliga and coming from a small town in Canada, I had a lot against me and I succeeded.”
As for what’s next for the newly retired Friend, the 33-year-old now hopes to move into the business of soccer in some respect which is fitting for the Canadian who holds a degree in Business Economics from U.C. Santa Barbara.
One avenue that may be worth exploring for Friend if he is up for consideration is with the Canadian Soccer Association, a group that the former national team forward believes needs considerable reforms.
“I would love to change the entire dynamic of the Canadian Soccer Association. We’re 20 years behind the U.S. and I think there is a lot of ideas and tips that we can take from them. We’re just too far behind and it takes guys who have been outside of Canada and made it around the world to change the mentality and the system. It takes a lot of work and not one man is going to change it, but I would love to help out.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The moment that will live on in LA Galaxy history forever.
In the 111th minute, Robbie Keane scored an MLS Cup winning goal with his clever finish off a pinpoint pass from Marcelo Sarvas which sealed the LA Galaxy's 2-1 Extra Time victory over the New England Revolution and their fifth MLS Cup. Now you can enjoy the goal in slow motion courtesy of the folks at MLSsoccer.com.
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. -- Time and time again, the LA Galaxy faced considerable challenges during their 2014 season and more often than not, it was their captain Robbie Keane who bailed them out.
Keane did so again in an impressive fashion with his extra time tally that gave the Galaxy a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in MLS Cup. Although the Irishman endured a frustrating game to that point, his finish past Bobby Shuttlesworth late in the game proved once more than the MLS MVP was the true class of the league.
“It wasn’t the greatest game to be honest with you. It was tough, New England played really well. I have to give them a lot of credit," Keane told reporters afterward. "We went 120 minutes and in the end it’s whichever team pulls out stronger. I think we certainly came out stronger in extra time. We’re thankful that we got the goal. It was a great pass from Marcelo [Sarvas].”
The goal capped what was the finest season in Keane's illustrious career: Over the course of 34 games in the regular season and playoffs, Keane notched 21 goals and 17 assists in his highest output for one team ever.
And after the game, you could forgive LA for singing the praises of their Irish captain.
"Keane is a guy that you want on your team because he's always going to give it his everything. There's no other way that Robbie knows," said Omar Gonzalez. "It wasn't going our way, but we found a way to win. We stayed composed and waited for our chances and we did that. Robbie had a few chances that he wanted back, but he made sure when the time came that he put his final chance in the back of the net. Now we're champions."
Added head coach Bruce Arena, "Robbie is been unbelievable since he stepped foot in MLS. I’ve been on record, I’ve said this, it’s very rare that an international player can step into this league, be adjusted instantly and not explain to us how you are supposed to do things and how it’s done elsewhere. I’ve never heard one “this is how they do it at Liverpool or Tottenham.” He’s bought into Major League Soccer from the start. He’s our greatest advocate. It’s been fabulous. Look of what we’ve done since we’ve acquired Robbie. Is it his team? Naw, its Mr. Anschutz's team to be honest, but he’s pretty big asset.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 7, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- It was an emotional week for Dan Gargan.
Not only did the defender win his first ever MLS Cup and help marshall the LA Galaxy defense to a victory, but he had his first child on Wednesday. Following the MLS Cup victory, Gargan, who was the final player signed during preseason, reflected on his wild week.
"It’s been an incredible year. I haven’t quite processed it all yet, it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve had an amazing week," said Gargan. "My wife gave birth to our first child, a girl, on Wednesday afternoon and I think I’ve slept a total of seven hours since then. That’s not an exaggeration. I can’t imagine it’s going to add to that total tonight, but we’re going to re-evaluate that tomorrow."
CARSON, Calif. -- The day is finally here.
In the latest edition of "What To Watch For," Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down the MLS Cup Final between the LA Galaxy and New England Revolution
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. -- In the latest edition of my Insider Breakdown for Galaxy TV, I break down the LA Galaxy's match with the New England Revolution.
In the video, I take a look whether Landon Donovan will get his Hollywood ending and finish his career as an MLS Cup champion.
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan went through his final training session as a professional athlete on Saturday as the LA Galaxy went through their final preparations for Sunday's MLS Cup Final against the New England Revolution at StubHub Center.
Photos from Donovan's final training session are below.
CARSON, Calif. -- One Day More.
The LA Galaxy will face off against the New England Revolution on Sunday in the 2014 MLS Cup Final. In the latest -- and final 2014 -- edition of By the Numbers, I look at the Galaxy's record against the Revs in MLS Cups. Spoiler Alert: It's pretty good.
Check it out below.