SportSoccer

End of the road for Keane and Gerrard after LA Galaxy defeat?

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Robbie Keane's LA Galaxy future is unclear
Robbie Keane's LA Galaxy future is unclear

Robbie Keane’s glittering career may well have ended in disappointing fashion after his LA Galaxy side saw their hopes of MLS title glory in 2016 dashed by Colorado Rapids in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Keane’s former Ireland team-mate Kevin Doyle was among the scorers in a shoot-out that was decided a brilliant save from Rapids keeper Tim Howard, ending a troubled few months for the 36-year-old Dubliner who has seen his ambitions increasingly hampered by injuries.

Galaxy’s demise may also signal the end of Steven Gerrard’s iconic career, with the Liverpool legend joining Keane on a star-studded Galaxy substitutes bench for the second leg of the MLS play-off game in Chicago.

With Galaxy holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, Keane and Gerrard would have been keen to make their mark as they came off the bench after Sheklezen Gashi pulled the tie level with a sensational first half strike.

Both sides missed chances to win the tie before the shoot-out, with Gerrard scoring for Galaxy from the spot before former Arsenal and Chelsea star Ashley Cole fluffed his lines as Howard kept-out his penalty.

It meant that Jeff Larentowicz needed to score for Galaxy to keep the game alive, but USA keeper Howard emerged as the hero with his spot kick heroics.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed after the game that Keane was unable to take a spot kick as he had picked up another injury during his substitute’s appearance.

With the contracts of Keane and Gerrard set to expire in the coming days, Galaxy have offered up no indication over whether either will remain at the club for next season.

Yet their presence on the substitutes bench for Galaxy’s biggest game of the season suggests they may well have played their last game for the club.

Keane joined Galaxy in 2011 after falling out of favour with Premier League club Tottenham and has become one of the marquee names in MLS soccer over the last five years.

He has three MLS Cup wins with Galaxy on his record, but his fitness record in 2016 does little to support his bid for a new contract.

Meanwhile, rumours persisting that Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney is a big transfer target for LA Galaxy, with the England star set to be offered a chance to succeed Keane or Gerrard as a star player with the Californian club next year.