CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane has stated a firm case for the 2013 MLS MVP, but will the Irishman win the award once he it is announced in December?
Despite missing time with injury and international duty, Keane tallied 16 goals and 11 assists this season for the Galaxy in just 22 games played. Keane was one of just two players in MLS –Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri being the other—who tallied double digit goals and assists this season.
Although his numbers are high, the impact that he has when he is on the field is even greater. In his 22 games played, the Galaxy tallied a 12-7-4 record with Keane on the field while going 3-8-0 without him.
So is Robbie Keane the MLS MVP?
BRUCE ARENA: “I would think so. Not to be belittle anyone else’s performance, but to me, Robbie has been the best player in the league. His numbers prove that in terms of his goal production and in terms of the team success. The numbers tell you that when he’s on the field, we’re clearly a better team. It’s his ability, his spirit, his leadership."
LANDON DONOVAN: “I think that it’s hard to argue that he shouldn’t be. I would say that Mike [Magee] has been the most valuable player to any team in MLS, but it’s hard to select a player whose team didn’t make the playoffs as MVP. That being said, I think that everyone in this locker room knows the impact that Mike has and what he’s done for Chicago. Robbie has been terrific from game one and again scored a goal [on Sunday] that meant so much for us. I think it’db be hard to argue that he’s not MVP. This year he’s taken a lot more leadership and he’s just a battler. When it comes to game time, he’s competitive and he’s carried us through a lot of situations and he’s been fantastic. He’s the most clever player in the league. …I don’t think that I’ve ever played with a forward that creates that many chances in a game. It’s remarkable what he does in every game.”
TODD DUNIVANT: “He’s got a great case for it. There’s probably two on this team who are the top two in the league in Mike and Robbie Keane. For 23 games, he’s scored 16 goals with 11 assists so it’s a goal or an assist per game and that’s crazy. With what Mike has done in Chicago was incredible. He came within a hair of winning the golden boot and really turned that team around into one that was an inch from the playoffs. I think those are your two front runners. He’s a difference maker for us. He’s our captain and we need him out there.”
OMAR GONZALEZ: “For sure. He’s been great for our team and he’s played a lot less games than the other guys who are considered MVP candidates. He’s scored a lot of goals for us and he’s gotten us a lot of points. He’s been a great leader on this team and he helps us get ready and pumped up for games. …He’s just has this fighting personality. He just gets us ready. He’s got spirit and when he speaks –and the way that he speaks with that accent—gets us all ready to play.”
DAVE SARACHAN: “I’m biased, but I would say yes. With the number of starts and the amount of production that he’s had when he’s been involved with us, for me, scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in our sport and not only does he score goals, but he creates so much every time he’s out there. When you put it out together, he’s the most valuable player. You throw in all ingredients of what a top pro does as far as intangibles, but as far as the tangibles—the movement, the activity on the field, and the cunning [nature] with how he creates space and works with partners—he’s got all the attributes to make it difficult for him to be bottled. Because he’s Robbie Keane, it’s harder [to produce] and there is a target on his back every time that we play. ”