CARSON, Calif. – There’s no doubt that LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is one of—if not the most—important player on his team.
The Irish forward has tallied five goals and four assists in just six matches so far this season. When Keane is the lineup, the Galaxy have scored 15 goals—five belong to Keane—and hold a 4-1-1 record,compared to a scant six tallies and a 2-4-1 record when he’s unavailable.
Although the Galaxy clearly miss the Irish forward’s production when he's away, LA head coach Bruce Arena says that there’s simply no magic formula for replacing him.
“If you took LeBron James away from the Miami Heat, how do you think that they’d be? Those are the facts of life of sport. Good players make a difference. That’s why we pay that player a lot of money,” said Arena. “You don’t swap a reserve for Robbie and if you have a way of doing that then I’d like for you to send me that formula. I’ll go right to the lab and mix it up, and get it ready to go. Those are the facts of life."
On Saturday, the Galaxy will be without Keane yet again when LA travel to face Real Salt Lake. During their last visit to Rio Tinto Stadium, the Galaxy were without their Irish forward, but preserved as they smashed RSL 2-0 on April 27.
Despite not having Keane for a second straight match, LA midfielder Marcelo Sarvas admits that they’ll simply have to move on and preform the job themselves.
“We cannot cry and we cannot think about this. He’s not here. Omar [Gonzalez] is not here,” said midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. “The guys that step on the field know that they must take the responsibility and it is their opportunity to show to the [coaching staff] that they can play.
“If you can’t replace his technique then you can do another thing. You can fight,” added Sarvas. “If you’re not able to do the same things [as Keane] then you can find spaces and use your speed, fight, and help in the defense. Every player has their own characteristics.”