CARSON, California (Reuters) - LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane won his third title in four years in Major League Soccer after grabbing the winning goal against New England Revolution on Sunday.
There was little surprise that he scored the winner — Keane was LA’s top scorer with 21 goals in the regular and post-season and was voted this season’s MVP — but it was interesting to learn that it was Keane who suggested the tactical switch at halftime that helped Galaxy get a grip on the game.
Striker Gyasi Zardes moved into a wide midfield role with Landon Donovan pushed up front alongside the Irishman.
Zardes scored the opening goal shortly after the break.
“Robbie Keane suggested it at halftime,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “He should probably be the player-manager of this team.”
Keane is 34, two years older than the retiring Donovan, but he continues to play with boyish enthusiasm.
His extra-time winner on Sunday was a typical Keane finish as he raced onto a route-one ball from Marcelo Sarvas, burst into the box and confidently slotted home.
“I’ve been here for four years and I’ve won three championships, so so far it’s been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed it,” said the Republic of Ireland forward.
“Let’s see what happens next.”
Arena, who has been coach throughout Keane’s time with Galaxy, is clearly a fan.
“Robbie has been unbelievable since he stepped foot in MLS. It’s very rare that an international player can step into this league, be adjusted instantly and not explain to us how you are supposed to do things and how it’s done elsewhere,” he added.
“I’ve never heard one, ‘This is how they do it at Liverpool or Tottenham.’ He’s bought into Major League Soccer from the start,” added the former U.S. national team coach.
Editing by Peter Rutherford