PORTLAND, Ore. – “Character” results are one of the most tried and true sports clichés around, but the LA Galaxy made that narrative a reality with their late 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Amid rain and high winds that made the already difficult Providence Park turf pitch even tougher, the Galaxy dominated the match, but still needed to overcome two deficits to steal a point on the road against the Timbers. The final touch came just seconds after Portland pulled ahead in the 90th minute when an Alan Gordon header sealed a draw for the Galaxy.
After the match, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was not frustrated about missed opportunities, but commending his squad on the grit that they showed.
“We kept battling. I told the lads before the game that we’re probably the best footballing team in the league, or one of, but sometimes you have to show a little bit more than that,” said Keane. “Sometimes you can’t play under difficult circumstances and today was one of those circumstances even though they allowed us to play and we dominated the second half as they dropped off a lot. It’s about battling through and showing some heart. We certainly showed that today.”
Gordon, who was once again the late game hero, agreed that LA’s show of character will help the team going forward in the season.
“To come back and steal a point is huge for our momentum going back to L.A.,” Gordon said.
Look ahead to Portland: Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy look to down Portland Timbers in first road game of 2015
PORTLAND, Ore. –Ahead of the LA Galaxy’s match with the Portland Timbers (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes 4 p.m. PDT), let’s take a look at some required reading, matchups to watch, and my prediction for Sunday's match.
*The biggest question of the week is who plays in goal for the Galaxy on Sunday? Brian Rowe or Jaime Penedo.
*Jose Villarreal made a major mark along the left side of midfield in the Galaxy's win against the Chicago Fire, and he'll be aiming to do the same against the Timbers.
*Could the LA Galaxy have a new Scanadivanian connection? As newcomer Mika Vayrynen looks to make his debut against the Timbers, Stefan Ishizaki is hoping to have a great sophomore season with the Galaxy.
*LA bolstered their squad this week with the signing of rookie midfielder Ignacio Maganto who is eager to make an impact for the first team.
*In the latest edition of By the Numbers, we take a look at LA’s frustrating record in Bridgetown.
*LAGalaxy.com reporter Larry Morgan checks in with a preview on the Galaxy’s trip to Portland.
*The 2013 MLS Referee of the Year Hilario Grajeda will serve as the head official for Sunday's match.
*In the latest edition of 90 in 90, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino provide their insight to the game in Portland.
THEY SAID IT:
"It's always a tough place to go. Great fans and great atmosphere. I'm sure, it will be raining again, like it is every year we’re there. I really enjoy the atmoswphere there."
- Robbie Keane on the trip to Portland.
QUESTIONS AHEAD OF THE MATCH:
WHO WINS THE BATTLE IN THE MIDFIELD: JUNINHO OR DIEGO CHARA
The midfield battle will be decided between the two international stars who will look to set the tempo for their respective club. Expect plenty of hard challenges on the small field at Providence Park
CAN ROBBIE KEANE KEEP UP HIS SCORING STREAK IN PORTLAND?
The LA Galaxy may have only one win all-time in Portland, but the Rose City has proven to be a boon town for Robbie Keane. The Irishman has three goals and one assist in four career matches at Providence Park, and will look to find the back of the net again on Sunday.
WHO STARTS IN GOAL FOR THE LA GALAXY?
The biggest question for the Galaxy, however, is who starts in goal for Bruce Arena’s squad. Brian Rowe was rarely tested during LA’s 2-0 shutout of the Fire, but 2014 incumbent netminder Jaime Penedo will be eager to get the nod in goal.
LA Galaxy 2 (Robbie Keane, Baggio Husidic) Portland Timbers 2 (Darlington Nagbe, Fernando Adi)
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane has served as the LA Galaxy captain for two seasons and according to the Irishman that will not change with this summer's arrival of Steven Gerrard.
The Galaxy signed the longtime England international this summer after he had spent nearly two decades with English giants Liverpool -- 10 of which were as captain. Keane, a teammate of Gerrard's at Liverpool from 2008-09, noted during his first training session with the Galaxy this year, that he'd be open to the Englishman serving as his vice-captain when he arrives in July.
"That's up to Bruce. If Bruce is happy with him enough to be vice-captain than no problem, but we have Omar here as well," said Keane. "I think that Stevie just wants to come here play and enjoy his football. We're not worried about that kind of stuff. This is a new challenge for him and completely different from what he's used to, but as I said, he's looking forward to it.
"I'm sure that when he comes in, he'll settle in quickly Good players settle quickly."
LA Galaxy and Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane backs FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo
The eyes of the global soccer world were in Zurich on Monday as FIFA held it's annual FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. The winners surprised few as world superstar Cristiano Ronaldo took home the prestigious Ballon d'Or award while German head coach Jogi Low won the FIFA Head Coach of the Year honors.
National team captains and head coaches from across the world participated in the voting including LA Galaxy captain and Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane.
For the Ballon d'Or, Keane tipped Ronaldo as his first choice, Argentina's Lionel Messi in second and his former Tottenham Hotspur teammate Gareth Bale in third. While Keane voted with the majority for his player voting, he went with a bent with his vote for the coaching honor, opting for Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti first, Atletico Madrid's Diego Simone second and finally U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in third.
Klinsmann also had a vote for both awards, tipping Low for the coaching honor but did not side with the Irishman for the World Player of the Year, backing Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the award. The U.S. boss spoke about his votes to reporters in Carson on Monday at the opening of the USMNT's annual Janaury camp.
"It’s a no brainer that Jogi Low was the coach of the year because he won the World Cup. I was a bit sad for Manuel Neuer because I thought he played outstanding. At the end of the day, the most important title that you can win in your career is a World Cup and he won that one," Klinsmann said. "When you talk about players like Cristiano Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, you’re talking about top class players and you wish them all the best, and hope that they can get whatever award that they can get. But I was voting for Manuel Neuer and I was hoping that he could win, but unfortunately, he didn’t."
Robbie Keane is not heading out on loan in 2015.
At least, that’s what the LA Galaxy’s captain and reigning MLS MVP told reporters at Tallaght Stadium earlier this week when he announced the team’s preseason match against Irish club Shamrock Rovers.
A day after his MLS Cup MVP performance that led the Galaxy to their fifth league title, Keane had hinted that he may be looking for another challenge in 2015, but despite several “tempting” offers, the 34-year-old has turned down any chance to go on loan before the LA resume preseason in late January.
"I've been asked to go on loan. I think you know me, better than anybody, after a few weeks (inactivity) I get the itch. I've got the itch now 100 percent. I was playing five-a-side with me mates 10 days after the Cup final. That’s the way I am.
"I have been asked (to go on loan by a number of Premier League clubs), yeah. And there’s a temptation because I just love playing football,” he added. “There’s a temptation but I just can’t see it happening to be honest with you. It’s not going to happen.”
As for the rationale behind turning down any perspective loans, Keane notes that given his health—he underwent two Achilles surgeries last December—added traction on his 34-year-old legs would be ill advised heading into the Galaxy’s 2015 campaign.
"There’s certainly a temptation because I just love playing so much,” said Keane. “But I've spoken to people and medically it wouldn't make any sense for me.
"It wouldn't probably be fair at this moment after what I put myself through after the operations that I've had. I want to continue for a long time and this is probably my best bet but as I say it’s tempting but, like i say, it’s not going to happen."
WATCH: Robbie Keane speaks to Shamrock Rovers F.C. about the LA Galaxy's preseason match in the Republic of Ireland
The man from Tallaght is returning home in 2015 when Robbie Keane leads the LA Galaxy to the Republic of Ireland where they'll face 17-time Irish league champion Shamrock Rovers F.C. at Tallaght Stadium on Feb. 21.
Keane was on hand at Tallaght Stadium on Monday morning to reveal that the match will take place during the Galaxy's 2015 preseason preparations. During his press conference, Keane spoke to Shamrock Rovers' SRTV about the match and his thoughts on playing in his home town.
Watch Keane's thoughts on the match above.
The LA Galaxy will be heading to Europe this preseason when they take on the Republic of Ireland's Shamrock Rovers F.C. at Tallaght Stadium on Feb. 21 at 8 a.m. PT
LA's match against Rovers will see 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane return to his home town of Dublin -- and most specifically Tallaght -- to play Shamrock Rovers, which is the most successful professional club in Irish history. Rovers have won the League of Ireland 17 times while also winning the FAI Cup a record 24 times.
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.”
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.