Thursday, December 04, 2014

I Just Can't Get Enough


LOS ANGELES – Robbie Keane has never been all that interested in individual honors, but he was tickled to pick up Major League Soccer's 2014 Volkswagen MVP award Wednesday afternoon.
Now it's on to bigger business.
The 34-year-old Irish striker, a finalist for the honor last year, was fêted at the Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live on Wednesday after scoring 19 goals with 14 assists to help the Galaxy to a dominant 17-7-10 regular season campaign.
Next he'll lead the Galaxy as they seek their third title in four years in Sunday's MLS Cup final against the New England Revolution at StubHub Center (3 pm ET, ESPN, UniMas, UDN, TSN1, RDS2).
“To be in the running the last few years, it just goes to show how consistent I have been, you know?” said Keane. “To win it, it's actually great to be recognized by your fellow professionals and the media. I'm delighted with the award, but I'd certainly trade it in for a championship on Sunday.”
Keane's scoring exploits are clear: He's netted 53 goals with 35 assists in 84 regular season games since joining LA in August 2011, plus another eight goals and six assists in 16 playoff matches and seven goals in 14 CONCACAF Champions League games. He's tallied 22 goals with 18 assists in all competitions this year.
But his game is far broader than the numbers suggest. He gives a master class in off-the-ball movement every time he steps on the field and plays the pivotal role in the Galaxy's interchange-heavy possession game.
“We think Robbie's spectacular,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said following the ceremony. “He's remarkable in the sense that his consistency year in and year out has been spectacular. And you don't see that typically of strikers. ...
“He sets the tone for our team each and every day. He's a great professional, he's good with our young players, he's fabulous in getting the team ready to play. Those things you don't see in the box score, for sure, but he's that guy with our team.”
Keane was at his best this year after undergoing surgeries on both of his Achilles' tendons last December.
“The last couple years I've been struggling really bad with Achilles' problems,” he said. “I was waking up in the mornings, and I could hardly walk. It took me ages to get going in training, so since the operation, I feel great.”
Keane's “desire and hunger” for the game, he says, makes all the difference.
“If you hate something that you do, you wake up every morning, you're not looking forward to going into work, whether that's football or a 9-to-5 job,” he said. “If you don't like what you do, then the battle is probably done already. For me, I wake up every morning looking forward to practice. I wake up every Saturday and Sunday desperate and can't wait to play the game.
“It's not about the money. I don't care about the money. For me, it's about playing. I'd play for free. When I finish playing football, I'll go back to Ireland, I'll be a manager or whatever, and I'll still play on Sunday with my mates. It's just the way I am.”


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