Changes are definitely underway this offseason for the the Los Angeles Galaxy, as the team has cut ties with its second big name veteran star this week, announcing that forward Robbie Keane will depart from the club following the expiration of his contract at the end of the year. Previously, Steven Gerrard announced he was leaving the team as well.
Keane departs after leading the Galaxy to three MLS Cup victories while recording 92 goals, 51 assists, 26 game-winning goals, 18 game-winning assists, 21 multi-goal games, and four hat tricks in Major League Soccer during his six seasons with the club.
The Galaxy recently were eliminated from the playoffs in part because the team's nucleus of aging stars, including Keane, struggled to stay healthy. Still, Keane's leadership and world-class finishing skills will certainly be missed going forward.
Keane made the following statement about his time with the franchise:
"I can confirm that after five fantastic years I will be leaving the LA Galaxy. It's been a privilege to have played my part in the history of such a great club and I leave with memories that will stay with me forever. Winning three MLS Cups, scoring over 100 goals for the club and being named as 2014 MVP are all achievements that I will look back on with pride, it's been an incredible experience, I've truly loved every minute of my time at LA Galaxy.
However, I believe that now is the right time for a new challenge as I look towards the next chapter of my playing career. I still feel as fit and sharp as ever and I am looking forward to my next adventure. Having now retired from international football I am ready to focus everything I have on one last major challenge in club football and will be taking time out to consider my options before announcing my next move.
I would like to thank everyone at the Galaxy including the board, manager and all of my teammates for their incredible support during my time in LA. Finally, I would like to thank the most important people at the club: the fans. Thank you for welcoming me as one of your own and for helping to make LA such a special place for both me and my family.
The city has become my second home and I will never forget the unbelievable backing you've given me during my time at the Galaxy. The great times we have shared will stay with me forever. I look forward to watching the club continue to grow and progress in the coming years. It's been an honour to captain your team and I am so proud of everything we have achieved together. Thank you for everything.”
Keane, 36, signed with the Galaxy on Aug. 15, 2011, and scored in his debut match that month against the San Jose Earthquakes, before helping the team capture the 2011 MLS Cup title.
Keane scored 10 or more goals in Major League Soccer in each season with the Galaxy, again winning MLS Cup titles in 2012 and 2014, in addition to earning MLS MVP in 2014. He was named the LA Galaxy Player of the Year in four-straight seasons (2012-2015). This year, Keane became the fastest player in MLS history to score 100 goals in all competitions.
“It is hard to put into words what Robbie Keane has meant to the LA Galaxy,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “From day one, Keane has given everything to this team both on and off the field and has led our club to some of its greatest accomplishments. His resume and accomplishments speak for themselves; he has been the most successful international signing in this league’s history. We thank Robbie for everything he has given to this club and this city and we wish him the best in whatever comes next in his career.”
Prior to joining the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, Keane had a decorated career in Europe where he played for various teams across England, Italy and Scotland, including Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Celtic and West Ham, amassing over 150 goals. His longest stint was with Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, where he scored 80 goals from 2002-2008 during his time with the club.
Internationally, Robbie Keane scored a record 68 goals in 146 appearances over the span of 18 years for the Republic of Ireland, making him Ireland’s all-time leading scorer. His 68 goals internationally make him the 15th-leading goal scorer in international history.
Galaxy Associate Coach Dave Sarachan also leaves team
LA Galaxy Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan will leave the team to pursue other professional opportunities, the club announced. Sarachan departs after eight successful years with LA Galaxy, during which he helped lead the club to three MLS Cup victories (2011, 2012, 2014) and two MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011).
"I am proud of the role I have played in delivering three MLS Cup Championships to Los Angeles and I'm thankful for the relationships I've developed over the course of my time here,” said Sarachan. “Leaving a group of players of such quality and class is not easy but, professionally, I am ready for a new challenge."
Sarachan joined LA Galaxy on Aug. 18, 2008; the same day Bruce Arena was named Head Coach and General Manager. Since then, Sarachan has helped the Galaxy earn a 125-70-79 record in regular season play and reach five MLS Cup Finals, winning three and bringing the club’s total to a record five total MLS Cup trophies.
Before joining the Galaxy, Sarachan served as assistant coach on Arena’s teams at the University of Virginia (1984-1988), D.C. United (1998-1999), and the U.S. Men’s National Team (2000-2002).
“Dave has been an outstanding member of this organization for nearly a decade,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena. “His passion, dedication, and experience have been incredibly valuable to players, coaches, and staff. I want to thank Dave for his hard work and wish him the best of luck. He will be missed immensely.”
Sarachan joined United in 1998 and helped lead the club to a 1999 MLS Cup title. In 2000, Sarachan rejoined Arena on the U.S. National Team, where the pair led the U.S. to the 2002 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals, their best World Cup finish since 1930.
After the 2002 MLS season, Sarachan became head coach of the Chicago Fire. As head coach for five seasons, Sarachan led the Fire to the 2003 Supporters’ Shield, the 2003 MLS Cup Final, and the U.S. Open Cup Championships in 2003 and 2006. His work with the Fire earned him the 2003 MLS Coach of the Year award.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services