LOS ANGELES – There will be a new captain for the LA Galaxy this season—Robbie Keane.
Head coach Bruce Arena made the change official during LA’s unveiling of their new second kit at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE on Wednesday evening.The Irish forward will take over for Landon Donovan, who is scheduled to return to the club in late-March after stepping away from soccer at the start of 2013. Keane has served as vice-captain to Donovan since the 2011 season. Keane is expected to serve as LA's primary offensive weapon in 2013 after notching 23 goals and 10 assists in 37 matches across all competitions last season.
Donovan had previously served as the club’s captain since 2006, aside from David Beckham’s brief tenure as captain from the end of the 2007 to 2008. Arena admitted that no new vice-captain has been named, but the club is awash in options including Carlo Cudicini, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, and of course Donovan.
Below Arena, Dunivant and Mike Magee reflect on Keane as captain.
ARENA: “Naturally, he was the vice-captain last year and it’s not addition by subtraction. He’s a fabulous choice as captain and is a quality player and a quality leader. Robbie is prepared to lead this team. He’s definitely going to speak up and isn’t going to be shy to tell me what he doesn’t agree with. We like to hear from our players and I think that’s good Robbie will not only represent himself, but his players as well.”
DUNIVANT: “He leads by example and you can see that he’s a bit of a jokester and he’s one of the guys or as he would say, one of the lads… He's a guy that's passionate, and that shows on the field. It makes everybody better because he holds a certain standard that you have to meet, and if you're not, he'll let you know about it…He's the guy who's gonna let you know when things are good, and he's definitely going to let you know when things are bad. He's a guy who easily leads by example and tends to use his mouth as well. ... Usually when he gets overly fired up, you tend to not understand a word he says, so you can kind of just nod and get away with it.”
MAGEE: I didn’t notice there was any change. Robbie was, I guess, our captain last year as well. Landon wore the band, but there is no change with what he does or his presence in the locker room or on the field. It’s very deserving.”