HEREDIA, COSTA RICA -- Robbie Keane has dealt with his fair share of hostile environments throughout his career and on Thursday, he’ll lead the LA Galaxy into another as they head to the volatile Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero to take on Herediano in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals first leg.
A rowdy crowd is expected when the two teams take the field, but LA already got a taste of the reception they’ll receive at kick off upon landing in San Jose on Tuesday evening. Keane has scored in hostile environments in CCL play in the past as he tallied in LA’s controversial defeat to Monarcas Morelia in Mexico during the group stages of the 2011-2012 tournament.
Ahead of the quarterfinal first leg, the Galaxy captain admits that his club must rise to the occasion.
“It’s good, it’s something that you should relish and it’s always good to get a little bit of stick from the fans because it keeps you concentrated,” Keane told reporters at the team hotel on Thursday. “It’s a good opportunity for us. It’s going to be a tough game and we know that with everything that surrounds it. [The series] is 180 minutes and we have to be clever in our approach and think about the bigger picture rather than tomorrow’s game.”
But will the hostile crowd get under Keane’s skin? Quite the opposite it seems.
“Obviously, the stadium is fairly small and you’ll be able to hear everything that the fans are saying. Luckily, I don’t understand Spanish so it is quite easy for me,” Keane said. “It’s good to play in these games. I really enjoy it and when the fans get a bit angry, you can wind them up a little bit. For me, I enjoy it.”