Monday marked the five-year anniversary of Robbie Keane’s signing with the Galaxy.
If he would have had his way, he would have celebrated by scoring a couple of goals in a victory against Colorado, Sunday.
Instead, Keane wasn’t available, having gone through the league concussion protocol following an orbital bone fracture in a collision against the New York Red Bulls, Aug. 7.
Wednesday, before the team departed for New York and today’s visit to Yankee Stadium to face New York City FC (Noon/ESPN), Keane wasn’t pleased about having to sit out.
“Could I have played the weekend?” Keane asked. “I should have been. I should have been playing that game. I don’t care about a fracture. That’s part of football. You get knocks in football, you get whacks. If I get another whack will it hurt? Yes. If I get a whack without the fracture will it hurt? Yes. So, there’s no difference to me whether I get a whack or not.
“That’s part of the game. It’s a man’s game and you just have to accept it. I definitely would have been able to play some part on Saturday, but it wasn’t to be.”
It would be impossible to keep Keane off of the field today. He returned to training late last week and could play with a protective mask today.
With Keane on the field, this match-up is as star-studded as any in the league. NYCFC, led by David Villa (Spain), Frank Lampard (England) and Andrea Pirlo (Italy), is currently in first place in the Eastern Conference. Factor in the play of midfielder Thomas McNamara and Jack Harrison and you have one of the league’s best attacks.
The Galaxy should have its full assortment of Designated Players as well, with Giovani dos Santos, Frank Lampard and Gerrard.
“It seems like every week that we play a game it is always rivals or against big name players,” Keane said. “For us, this is just another game. Of course there’s a lot of quality and top players, so certainly for the fans, it is a game that excites everybody, but for us, we just have to go into every game like it is just another game.”
Keane and the Galaxy are currently on a nine-game unbeaten streak and enter the week in third place in the Western Conference on 38 points.
For as potent as the NYCFC attack has been (43 goals), the defense has been troubling. The second-year club has allowed 43 goals, most in the league.
“If we approach the game with the right mindset and right mentality, there’s no reason why we can’t get something from the game,” Keane said. “The pressure is on them, they’re on top, they’re playing well at the moment and so are we, so it is going to be an interesting game.”