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Thursday 29 September 2016

Robbie Keane poised for Tottenham reunion this summer

Published 15/04/2015 | 17:02

Republic of Ireland and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane
Republic of Ireland and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane

Los Angeles Galaxy fans needn't worry that their star player Robbie Keane is leaving, but the Ireland record goal scorer may face his former employers this summer for a pre-season friendly.

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Tottenham are to play the MLS All-Stars in Denver in July, announcing the fixture a little over a month after manager Mauricio Pochettino said he had no desire to travel long distances for the pre-season.

The match, which could feature the 2014 MLS MVP,  will take place on July 29, and Tottenham said it would be their only match outside Europe this summer.

Last month, Pochettino said: "It's never proper for the team at the beginning of the season to go to Asia or America."

However, in Wednesday's announcement he praised the standard of MLS opposition and said the match would be a big part of their preparations.

"We'd like to thank Major League Soccer for the invitation to take part in the 2015 All-Star Game," he said in a statement.

"The fact that this will be our only fixture outside of Europe during pre-season says a lot about how we view this game.

"We enjoyed three tough matches last summer in North America and the quality of football in MLS continues to grow every year.

"Pre-season is an important time for us and we are looking forward to being a part of one of the biggest events on the US football calendar.

"We know the quality of the facilities will be top-class and we see this fixture against the best players from MLS as good preparation."

However, the match means Tottenham will spend a significant portion of the summer travelling as they are already committed to a post-season tour of Malaysia and Australia.

Speaking in early March, Pochettino had said he had approved the plan to head Down Under because he wanted to get the travelling out of the way before the pre-season.

"It is better to spend time doing commercial business at the end of the season," he said at the time.

"I've had bad experiences of (pre-season) tours, when you're going far away.

"Experiences as a player help as a manager. These things can upset your preparations."

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