CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane makes the LA Galaxy offense go, but LA may be without the Irish forward for Sunday’s clash against FC Dallas.
Keane was not present during the final 15 minutes of training on Saturday as the club wrapped up preparations for their match against FCD on Sunday. If Keane is unable to start his third match in nine days, then head coach Bruce Arena is likely to turn to either Jack McBean or Jose Villarreal to start alongside Gyasi Zardes.
Villarreal is the frontrunner as the forward drew a penalty in 29 minutes of action during LA’s 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday. If he does step into Keane’s boots on Sunday, the 19-year-old forward insists that he won’t allow the pressure get to him.
“I wouldn’t take [playing in place of Keane] as pressure," said Villarreal. "[I just have to] what I’ve been doing lately and what the coaches know that I can do. Just play well and provide as much for the team as I can."
As for what makes his pairing with Zardes different then when he partners up with Keane or Landon Donovan, Villarreal has a simple answer—pure youthful exuberance.
“It’s just a bunch of energy,” said Villarreal. “[You know that if] you’re not running then the other guy is running for you. It’s good to have that. That doesn’t happen a lot. It’s good to have people that you know and people that you grew up playing with.”