WASHINGTON – The first time that Robbie Keane met Barack Obama in Dublin back in 2011, the U.S. President made a major impression on the tenacious Irish forward so when the two men crossed paths again on Monday, Keane made sure to show his appreciation.
Obama honored the MLS Cup winning Galaxy and their AEG compatriots, the Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings on their respective championships in a special ceremony in the White House’s East Room. Following Obama’s comments and his photo ops with both teams, the Galaxy’s Irish captain stopped the President for a brief tête-à-tête to chat about the meeting—and the speech— that struck such an accord with the forward.
“We spoke about when he was in Ireland in 2011 and I got to meet him. He gave a great speech there and said, ‘Is féidir linn’ which means ‘Yes we can’ [in Irish Gaelic],” a smiling Keane said of his brief conversation with the President. “I said that back to him and he said without any hesitation, ‘Yes we can.’ That was a real moment for me.”
Keane shed even more light on the President’s comments to him stating that Obama said of Ireland that, "there's no place I enjoyed the people more, everybody’s always so gracious."
The trip to the White House was Keane’s second and the LA Galaxy’s third in four years which puts the MLS side level with Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants for most trips by a pro sports team during the Obama Presidency.
Although meeting the man who once famously referred to him as his cousin back in 2012 has become something of a yearly tradition for the reigning MLS Most Valuable Player, Keane insists that he’ll never get tired of visiting the White House.
“You never get bored of coming here because you’re here because you won the championship and you never get bored of winning things,” said Keane. “I hope that we’ll be here again next year.”