News24

Keane to follow Beckham route

2011-08-15 22:46

Los Angeles - Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has agreed terms with the Los Angeles Galaxy - with a little encouragement from the Major League Soccer club's star David Beckham.

"When David Beckham came and trained at Spurs recently he couldn't speak highly enough about the Galaxy, their fans and the league in general, so I can’t wait to get over and get started," Keane said in a statement issued by the club.

He is slated to join his new club from English Premier League club Tottenham once he receives his visa. Terms of the deal were not released.

"I am delighted, honoured and very excited to be joining the LA Galaxy," Keane said. "I have always wanted to come and play in MLS so it’s the perfect combination for me and a dream come true."

A statement issued by the club said Keane, who has scored more than 250 goals for club and country and is the 10th-leading goal scorer in the history of the Premier League, will be one of the Galaxy's designated players - with the club able to pay him beyond usual salary cap limits.

The Galaxy currently have three designated players, so will have to make a change before adding 31-year-old Keane - who has including loan spells played for eight other clubs - to the squad.

Galaxy's most famous designated player is former England captain Beckham - who was the first internationally recognised player to be signed under the designated player regulation sometimes known as the "Beckham Rule".

The Galaxy's other designated players are US and club stalwart Landon Donovan and Colombian veteran Juan Pablo Angel, who was signed in January.

Keane, capped 110 times but whose one appearance at a major finals was the 2002 World Cup where they reached the last 16, said he had already spoken by phone with Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.

"I have already discussed football with Bruce Arena and I know exactly what he wants from me," Keane said. "I am fit, fresh and ready to go. I've come here to score goals and help this team achieve their goals.

"This is a massive opportunity for me in my career. I aim to grab it with both hands and hopefully help give the Galaxy fans what they want."

The Galaxy lead the MLS standings with 48 points. The regular season concludes on October 23, with the MLS Cup playoffs following to determine the league champions.

AFP