It only took 21 minutes for Robbie Keane to ingratiate himself to the Los Angeles Galaxy fans with a goal in the California Clasico against the San Jose Quakes. David Beckham found Keane in the box, and Keane faked out keeper Jon Busch and dribbled round him for the score. The game wasn't put on ice until Sean Franklin found Mike Magee with a rolling cross in the 90'.
As debuts go, Robbie Keane can't complain. He started, played well after half time (72 minutes), and had a number of attempts. Robbie Keane showed the fans in attendance that he is fast and that he can find open space. There were a number of times when he was able to dance around with his arms up, just a yard outside the box.
"It was nice to get the first goal and I'm hoping that there is more to come," said Robbie Keane.
It was clear just how much this goal meant to Keane, with a large smile across his face. His tempo inspired the rest of the team to play up. David Beckham and Landon Donovan looked sharp on their chances in the first half, with a lot of fancy dribbling. The problem is they came out flat in the second.
It shouldn't have taken until the 90' to get the second goal. While the Galaxy had six shots in he first half, they only had one on target and that one counted. There were solid attempts, but they were called offside, or they just didn't come together properly.
Still the Galaxy had 72 minutes to try and gel together with Keane. If it were up to him, he probably wouldn't have come out:
"I didn't run out of gas, Bruce took me out...It was a smart decision though considering the travel."
It's clear that what the Galaxy have gotten in Robbie Keane is a striker with a bit of arrogance. That bit of swagger is something the Galaxy have missed. Donovan will talk smack and get in faces, Beckham brings a similar intensity, but Keane walked around liked he owned the pitch. That opening goal and celebration will certain stay with Galaxy fans for a long time.
Bruce was clear on what this signing could mean for MLS as a whole:
"Over the next few years, we're going to see a lot more players of Robbie Keane's caliber coming to MLS ."
Certainly this could be the shape of things to come. As MLS teams see just how well three players of the caliber can play together, and the way it raises the level of play from the rest of the team; everyone's going to want one of their own. Great things come in threes, and while the first try didn't work out; it speaks volumes about Bruce Arena that he fixed the problem with a great splash.