CARSON, Calif. –Robbie Keane had an announcement to make after his hat trick in the Galaxy’s 6-1 U.S. Open Cup drubbing of amateur side PSA Elite.


“I’m back.” 


Keane found the back of the net three times and added ad assist in the Galaxy’s convincing victory over the USASA side to send LA through to the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The LA Galaxy’s six goals were a club record for a U.S. Open Cup match.


Earning his second start for the team since suffering a groin injury back in April, the reigning Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player appeared every bit as dangerous as he did last season. Whether it was assisting on Zardes’ goal with a clever pass in the penalty area or putting away two clean headers, Keane was at the top of his game once more during his 71-minute showing on Wednesday.


“As a striker, it’s always important to score goals,” Keane said afterward. “Ultimately, you’re judged on scoring no matter what people say. You can do what you want for the team with hard work, but people will look at goals and assists. And since I’ve been here I’ve done that and done it well.


“Unfortunately I’ve had a long injury and I’m not always used to not playing and when I’m injured it’s usually only a few weeks, but I was out for too long. It’s nice to be back and feeling good. I’m feeling a lot better after playing these 70 minutes and will hopefully continue to score more goals and play longer.”


Even though Keane looked sharp against the amateurs, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admitted that there was some apprehension about giving the Irishman extended minutes, but in the end, the LA boss decided it was best for his captain’s confidence to give him time against PSA Elite.


“It was good to get him back on the field again and get some minutes in. We’re still moving him forward and trying to get him back into form. So tonight was a good exercise for him,” Arena said. “I think people that score goals, or baskets, or whatever in any sport, you need to have confidence that you can do it. So anytime you have a positive performance in those areas, it’s helpful.


Keane’s impressive performance in the Open Cup came just days after Keane’s two cousins died tragically in a sewer accident in Dublin.


After spending considerable time with his family members while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, the Galaxy captain admitted that returning to the field has been a welcome aid in his grieving process.


“When you’re playing football, you forget about everything. No matter what problems that you have when you get on that field, you’re just focused on playing football,” Keane said. “It’s been a tough couple of weeks but the most important thing is to carry on and continue to play, and do the best for my team.


“I’m always thinking of the people back home and will continue to do that, but for me, I’m thinking about them, and now I’m focused on doing my job.”


Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at www.LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.