It's a classic storybook tale -- a 32-year-old man who has established himself as a modest star in Europe joins the LA Galaxy and after playing for there for a solid year, gets mistaken for an "unidentified fan" at a Lakers game by a major news agency. That man then overcomes no odds to play a leading role in his team's second straight MLS Cup triumph. Then, when David Beckham goes to rule Paris free of charge and Landon Donovan flirts with retirement before settling on an extended sabbatical that drifts him off to Cambodia, that 32-year-old captain of Ireland's national team also becomes captain of LA. This is the stuff that movies pitched at nightclub urinals are made of.
With the new MLS season set to begin this weekend, Galaxy manager Bruce Arena made the announcement that should finally ensure that Robbie Keane's name is known to at least a few more people in Southern California. From Goal.com:
"Robbie Keane will be our captain to start the season, and he will be our captain this season," Arena told reporters during the unveiling of the club's second uniform. "(Keane is) a fabulous choice as captain. He's a quality player, he's a quality leader, so Robbie's prepared to lead this team."
Keane as captain is obviously as much of a no-brainer as Arena makes it sound. He was vice-captain and the league's fourth best scorer in his first full season last year with 16 regular season goals and he added six more goals in as many playoff matches. He's a humble guy -- when asked about the "unidentified fan" thing, the Sporting News' Brian Straus quotes him as saying he “doesn’t give a (expletive)” about it -- and he earned the respect of his teammates perhaps a bit quicker than David Beckham did when he first arrived in Los Angeles.
As for Donovan, he really is in Cambodia right now and it seems he really did lose his shirt along the way...
UPDATE: Robbie Keane attended another Lakers game on Thursday night and once again, he was photographed by a major agency. This time, the caption read "Los Angeles Galaxy player Robbie Keane poses for a photograph during a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California."