CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane will join up with his Republic of Ireland a little later than previously anticipated as club commitments with the LA Galaxy will stay with the club through June 2.
Keane had been called by Ireland for their upcoming friendlies against England and Georgia, but since those matches fall outside of the FIFA international window, he will remain with the Galaxy until Ireland's World Cup Qualifier against the Faroe Islands on June 7 and their friendly with Spain on June 11.With the World Cup Qualifier not until June 7, Keane will be available for selection for LA's matches against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26 at The Home Depot Center and New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on June 2.
The LA Galaxy captain has scored two goals and tallied three assists while appearing in five of LA’s 11 regular season games as injuries and international commitments have taken their toll on the Irishman.
“We’re following FIFA rules. Robbie is an important member of our team,” LA head coach Bruce Arena said on Tuesday. “He’s missed half the games in the league. These games are important, we’re the ones that pay him and he’ll be for the important games for Ireland. We wish that we could let him go for the whole [camp], but that’s not the way that it works.”
Although Keane will not participate in Ireland's friendlies, Arena attests that there is no hard feelings from the Irish Football Association.
"Ireland is very professional. They understand completely," Arena said. "They understand our issues and we all understand what the FIFA rules are and we're following them."