You watch Robbie Keane on the soccer field and you’re not going to find a more intense competitor.
His goading of teammates, his pleading to referees, his eagerness to get in the face of opponents rubs more than a few the wrong way.
He must have been itching to start the season last week because the Galaxy’s 2-0 win over Chicago, Keane was in midseason form. It culminated in his celebration after scoring the second goal and the MLS lip-readers were on the spot to fine him for “unprofessional conduct.”
Keane explained it all Thursday after practice:
“Ah, nothing. Passion. I’m a passionate guy,” Keane said. “I like to win all the time.”
Earlier in the game, he appeared to upbraid teammate Stefan Ishizaki for a build-up gone awry.
“If you don’t play with passion, which I’ve always done since I’ve been here, that’s the way I play,” Keane said. “That’s the way I get the best out of myself and get the best out of players.
“One million percent it wasn’t (directed) at the fans. You can’t just speculate if you don’t know. It’s not a big deal. I’m expecting a fine. It’s no problem.”
It’s what helped drive Keane to score 19 goals, dish out 14 assists and win the MLS MVP award in 2014. Oh, and help his club capture its third MLS Cup in four years.
“Passion,” Keane said. “I want to win all the time. I want to be better. I do a lot of things to get people going in a different way. It’s my way of doing things. I do it on the training field, I do it on the field. I’ll always continue to do it. There’s other things you won’t see that I do all the time. Sometimes it’s to get people going, to get a reaction from other people. It’s about caring about what you do.
“If it’s going to make us a better team, than the job’s done.”