Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 30 (23 in MLS regular season, five in CONCACAF Champions League, two in MLS Cup Playoffs); GS: 29 (22 in MLS regular season, five in CONCACAF Champions League, two in MLS Cup Playoffs) G: 19 (16 in MLS regular season and three in CONCACAF Champions League); A: 12 (11 in MLS regular season and one in MLS Cup Playoffs)
APPEARANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 2; G: 1
HIGHLIGHTS: Robbie Keane has been one of the LA Galaxy’s most consistent contributors since he joined the club two years ago, but in 2013, he enjoyed his finest season with the club. In just 23 appearances, the Irishman scored 16 goals and added 11 assists—both team highs—while also becoming one of two players in MLS to tally double digit goals and assists. Throughout the year, Keane spurred the Galaxy offense’s forward tallying five multi-goal games, including hat tricks on May 26 against Seattle Sounders FC and on Aug. 17 against Real Salt Lake. One of his most heroic performances came in a game where he didn’t score, however, as on Oct. 16, Keane helped spark the Galaxy attack to a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact just a day after going 90 minutes for Ireland during a World Cup Qualifier in Dublin. For his stellar season, Keane was rewarded by winning his second consecutive LA Galaxy MVP award and being named a finalist for the league honor.
CHALLENGES: Perhaps Keane’s biggest challenge was that the LA Galaxy could not successfully account for his absence in 2013. When Keane was not on the field due to either international duty or injury, the Galaxy compiled a 3-6-1 record as opposed to a 12-5-7 mark when he was on the field. The Galaxy offense was also heavily reliant on their captain who scored or assisted on more than half of their 53 regular season goals. Although Keane was stellar throughout the season, he struggled during LA’s Western Conference Semifinal series against Real Salt Lake. During the Galaxy’s first leg victory, Keane tallied four shots—one which forced a save from RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando—as LA could not expand on a one-goal aggregate lead. In the second leg, Keane found himself marked out of the match by RSL’s defenders as he managed just a single shot in his 120 minutes of action.
HIS THOUGHTS: “You get nothing for nothing in this life, you know? You have to earn it. To be honest with you, this year we didn't deserve it. We were too kind of inconsistent. We didn't deserve it this year, so sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and just accept that.”
OVERVIEW: Robbie Keane was undoubtedly the LA Galaxy’s Most Valuable Player in 2013 and for the team to complete for the MLS Cup next year; they’ll need even more from their captain. Keane did everything that was asked of him last season and will likely do the same in 2014, but the Galaxy must find another weapon to augment the production provided by Keane and Landon Donovan. Whether the Galaxy can find a consistent third option in the attack still remains to be seen, but they should have a healthier Keane in 2014. At points during the 2013 campaign, the Irishman was sidelined by nagging injuries, but after undergoing a procedure on both Achilles tendons in late November, he should be healthier than he has been for a longtime at the start of preseason. The surgery is expected to have Keane out for four to six weeks, which also means that he is unlikely to train with or go on loan to a Premier League club as he has in each of the past two years.
POLL: How would you rate Robbie Keane's 2013 season?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com