Ted S. Warren
Still hungry

Robbie Keane confirms he's leaving LA Galaxy but seeking 'one last major challenge'

The 36-year-old will take some time before deciding on his next move.

AFTER FIVE MAGNIFICENT years with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Robbie Keane has revealed he’s leaving the Major League Soccer franchise.

His contract is set to expire at the end of the year and will not be signing an extension.

As expected, the 36-year-old is not stepping away from the game just yet and in an open letter to Galaxy supporters revealed that he’s seeking ‘one last major challenge in club football’.

“It’s been a privilege to have played my part in the history of such a great club and I leave with memories that will stay with me forever”, Keane wrote.

“Winning three MLS Cups, scoring over 100 goals for the club and being named as 2014 MVP are all achievements that I will look back on with pride, it’s been an incredible experience.

LA Galaxy / YouTube

I believe that now is the right time for a new challenge as I look towards the next chapter of my playing career. I still feel as fit and sharp as ever and I am looking forward to my next adventure. Having now retired from international football I am ready to focus everything I have on one last major challenge in club football”.

The record Irish goalscorer intends to take some time to contemplate his next move but, with a young family, staying within the league and remaining on the west coast would be an ideal scenario.

Since joining in 2011, Keane has had Designated Player (DP) privileges. DPs are clubs’ high-profile players who fall outside the MLS salary cap. But it had long been speculated that if Keane was going to be offered a new deal by the Galaxy, it wouldn’t be on his usual DP salary.

It remains to be seen if he’ll be a DP at another club, should he decide to remain in MLS.

Keane was a superb MLS signing and the proof is everywhere: three championships in six seasons, over a century of goals, a team captain and the beneficiary of huge adoration from the club’s support.

He may have expected to go out with a bang but the Galaxy’s highly-regarded acquisition of Steven Gerrard didn’t bring about the expected success and silverware.

The franchise, in truth, is in need of fresh faces especially after back-to-back underwhelming campaigns.

LA will miss Keane, though.

Manager Bruce Arena was, inevitably, glowing in his praise for the veteran attacker.

“It is hard to put into words what Robbie Keane has meant to the LA Galaxy”, he said.

From day one, Keane has given everything to this team both on and off the field and has led our club to some of its greatest accomplishments. His resume and accomplishments speak for themselves; he has been the most successful international signing in this league’s history.

Keane scored on his debut for the Galaxy and was a champion by the end of his first season. He managed to hit double figures in each campaign and was crowned the league’s MVP (Player of the Year) in 2014 – after captaining the side to their third title (they won in 2012 too). He was named LA’s Player of the Year for four straight seasons. The list is endless.

His MLS legacy is already assured. He’ll rightly go down as arguably the league’s most successful import in its 20-year history.

But he’s not done just yet.

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