The LA Galaxy fell apart late in the California Clásico against the San Jose Earthquakes, but that was not without a herculean performance by Robbie Keane.
By dropping into midfield, the Galaxy captain played the role of distributor for the Galaxy as he helped create numerous opportunities for his teammates to get in behind the San Jose back four. The Irishman combined with Landon Donovan twice to create LA’s two goals on the evening, but his performance could be felt throughout the field.
Let’s break it down a bit…
SIX: The number of key passes – passes leading to a scoring opportunity—for Keane on the evening. Two of which ended up in the back of the net. Without a doubt, this is the most important statistic of the evening as Keane was repeatedly able to create chances for his teammates that directly tested the San Jose defense.
TWO: The number of shots for Keane. A bit of a surprising statistic when viewed at face value, but when one breaks down his distributor role, the picture becomes clearer. Keane’s first shot of the evening, which came 43rd minute, forced a save from goalkeeper Jon Busch. However, his shot off frame in stoppage time—a play that I break down in my Three Points—may have proved costly as the Earthquakes erased LA’s lead minutes later. The number two can also be used to describe his defensive impact as the Irishman made a pair of clearances and interceptions.
77%: The passing percentage for Keane on the evening. Keane completed 27 of his 35 attempts. All but three of those passes took place in the Earthquakes end of the field.
Numbers only tell so much of the story, however. Keane did not wish to speak about his own showing after the defeat, choosing rather to try and light a fire under his teammates with one particular quote toward the end of my sidebar on the match and issue a notice to the victorious Earthquakes.
Much was made about the return of the Earthquakes late game heroics, which was a team staple during their run to the MLS Supporters Shield, but the forward admitted that if it was a repeat of last season, then he'll take that just fine.
“It’s fine if they can do that, no problem. If it’s a repeat of last year then we'll take that because we beat them in the playoffs and won the championship,” said Keane. “So I'll take that over any performance.”