It’s never a good thing when the battery that charges a team’s offense goes down with an injury. Robbie Keane has scored 74 goals in just 110 appearances for the LA Galaxy, proving that, while MLS provides balanced competition that can change by the season, some things don’t always change. Keane is one of those things.
This isn’t the first time that the Galaxy have been without Keane for bits and pieces of a season. At 35 years old, he, like many other aged foreign stars, cannot play the full load of the season. But he has been a key contributor for four years now, never failing to make over 27 appearances. This year, it is already looking like he won’t be able to live up to that mark.
But it’s hardly a concern. If anything, the LA Galaxy are learning what life will be like when Robbie Keane does eventually move on and, well, it’s rather promising.
The Galaxy have been hovering in the same area of the table all year, quietly building up the best goal differential in MLS. Yet They never reached the top. It was, after all, a very cluttered Western Conference.
Now, however, they are starting to lash out and make the world realize that yes, the LA Galaxy are still a powerhouse and they are establishing themselves as the team to beat in all aspects of the game.
Consider what they have done without Robbie Keane. The Irishman has made just three appearances this year, scoring two goals – right on pace with what he always does. But it was looking for awhile like the Galaxy only won (and won big, for that matter) when Keane scored. In the two games that he scored, the Galaxy won 4-1 and 3-1. In the one game he did not score and the first two games following his injury, the Galaxy did not fare as well, managing a loss and two draws with an aggregate loss of 2-1.
But then, suddenly, the Galaxy came to life as if Keane was right there among them, scoring like normal. In the past two matches, the Galaxy have been learning about themselves and their future prospects and they have to be pleased with the returns. Against Houston and Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy scored nine goals and surrendered just three. Granted, it was against the Houston Dynamo and a Joao-Plata-less Real Salt Lake, it still begs to be noticed how completely they disposed of their opponents, and without their star man.
Through it all, the Galaxy have been relying on Gyasi Zardes and Giovanni Dos Santos (24 and 26 years old, respectively). Combined, they have seven goals on the year now. As mentioned, this is why the Galaxy needed this time without the aging Keane. They may have felt secure in their future prospects, but they are now getting a good indication of how this high-powered offense will look in the future.