Thursday 19 October 2017

American dream just right for Doyle - Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy, along with hiis team-mate's during training
Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy, along with hiis team-mate's during training

Garry Doyle

Robbie Keane has advised Kevin Doyle to join him in the MLS.

With Doyle's Wolves contract nearing completion, Colorado Rapids have stepped in with a contract offer worth £1.5m over three years to the Wexford man.

As Doyle decides whether to stick or twist, Keane, who jetted home with his LA Galaxy team-mates earlier this week for pre-season training in Dublin, acted as a salesman for his league.

"I got a call from the Rapids manager," said the Ireland captain yesterday, "a guy I used to play with at the Galaxy. And I highly recommended Kevin to him. I like Kevin, he's a good guy, a good player.

"He would certainly do well in America. If he goes over there it will be great for him, great for the League, great for Colorado. You don't meet better people than Kevin Doyle. He's a great fella off the pitch, works hard and is a handful for any defence. He would be perfect for them."

And they could be perfect for Doyle, who has lost confidence since Ireland's Euro 2012 debacle in Poland. Injuries haven't helped and nor have Wolves' indifferent attitude towards him.

"I hate saying that it has not worked out for him as it has not been his doing," said Keane. "When he first went to Wolves, Kevin did very well but certain managers have different ideas and he was not a part of their plans in recent years.

"If he goes to the MLS, I will be delighted to have him over there. Maybe I'm speaking out of turn in saying this - but I hope he does come, it will be great."

'Great' was the word Keane's Galaxy manager Bruce Arena used to describe his captain and star player yesterday, suggesting that the striker isn't just the best player the club has ever had, but possibly the most influential import in MLS history.

"Robbie has had a great impact," said Arena. "We had a great American player in Landon Donovan and working in tandem with Robbie, we've won three championships in four years.

"There are probably no other players in the history of our league that have won three championships in four years, so that's a legacy in itself. He's the most valuable player in our league now and continues to maintain his international career with Ireland, which we think is great.

"He has certainly been a great addition, not only to LA Galaxy, but to Major League Soccer.

"I can see him playing until he is 40, for sure. Nobody can fight time in this league or in anything else. I look at Tiger Woods, a golfer who is now old at 38. Certainly for football players, it is even harder. But we're just hoping Robbie can do it at 35 right now and not worry about 40 until that time comes around.

"He's the MVP, he has won the most championships, there is a legacy of some great players when you think about Beckham and Thierry Henry, there have been many others.

"There have been a lot of top players in our league but probably few that have achieved the success that Robbie has both personally and with his goals."

The goals Keane has set for himself in 2015 are typically ambitious. Another championship with LA is on his mind, as is a successful completion of Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign.

Next up is Poland at the Aviva, a game Keane maintains has to be won, not drawn.

"You cannot go into any game just looking for a point. I certainly think that after the last result, this is certainly a game we cannot afford to lose, especially because it is at home. Certainly, our philosophy going into the game is to make sure we don't lose.

"We are under a certain amount of pressure but there is pressure on everyone at this stage - us, Scotland, Poland, Germany. We are not far off the Scots and with four home games in the next five, we have a fair chance of progressing.

"But it's important we pick up points now. The next few games will be crucial."

The immediate games for Keane are against Shamrock Rovers and Hammarby on this European tour.

Profile

"The Galaxy is now a brand - a fairly well known one worldwide. Of course, when you come on these trips, it's just like other clubs such as Manchester United who go to Asia and to the USA, to build their profile," explained the Tallaght man.

"We're no different, although I think Galaxy did this Ireland leg of the tour mainly for me.

"I'm delighted that they did that, to be back home and show the players where I come from and where we train.

"The most important thing, however, is getting ourselves right for the start of the season on March 6."

In other news, Daryl Murphy has spoken about his intent to reach the 20-goal mark for the first time since he left Waterford United in 2006.

"This has been a great season, one I always knew I was capable of producing," said the Ipswich Town striker, who has scored 19 times this season. "Mick McCarthy is a big reason I have done well this season."

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