ROBBIE Keane is a dead cert to earn the award as the top player in the MLS this season, according to LA galaxy manager Bruce Arena.
The Ireland captain is having a fine season with his club, scoring 10 goals since the summer break while his record of 10 assists has also impressed the stats-obsessed Americans, as if he gets one more assist Keane will, his club claim, "become just the third MLS player to score 15 goals and 15 assists in a single season".
And for boss Arena, voting for Keane is a no-brainer. "Anyone with a brain in a game, it's hard to say that Robbie wouldn't be your first choice," said Arena. "He's having a remarkable season and a remarkable career in this league.
"Robbie has over the last three and a half years been consistently among the best players in the league.
"This year without being disrespectful to any of the players that would be considered, I think that it is Robbie in a landslide to be honest with you.
"His numbers show that, his team's performance shows that and since Robbie has been here, we've been consistently a winner and won a Supporters' Shield and two MLS Cups. It's no accident that Robbie has been here for all that and the value that he has for our team."
Galaxy Team-mate Landon Donovan is pressing Keane hard for the highly-regarded MVP award but for Arena, the Dubliner is ahead of the rest.
"Over the last six to eight weeks, he's been very good, but when you look at the entire season, Robbie has been pretty consistent," the Galaxy head coach said. "You can't argue with Landon's quality in recent times but Robbie's been consistently good and that's an important part of being MVP," added Arena.
"Statistics don't tell a whole lot, but one thing that does is: who wins games, who scores goals, and who stops goals," he continued. "Those are statistics that you can't argue."
Keane is due to play for Galaxy in their league game against Toronto tomorrow and will then link up with the Irish squad in Dublin ahead of the Euro 2016 double header against Gibraltar and Germany.
Ireland's schedule will force Keane to miss Galaxy's game away to Dallas on Sunday week but he will then rejoin his team-mates for the final two games of the regular season.