LOS ANGELES – The task at hand to rebuild the Los Angeles Galaxy in the offseason just got significantly bigger as two out of three of the club’s Designated Players announced they would not be coming back next season. While former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard had been expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract expired, the announcement from Robbie Keane that he’d be following Gerrard out the door took some by surprise.
“I can confirm that after five fantastic years I will be leaving the LA Galaxy,” said Keane in a statement. “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 departs the Galaxy after six years, having scored over 100 goals for the club and having won three MLS Cups, making him perhaps the most successful DP in the history of Major League Soccer.
“Winning three MLS Cups, scoring over 100 goals for the club and being named as the 2014 MVP are all achievements that I will look back in with pride, it’s been an incredible experience, I’ve truly loved every minute of my time at LA Galaxy.”
While the former Ireland striker had been linked with a move into coaching, his statement indicates he has no immediate plans to retire and is looking for a “new challenge.”
“Having now retired from international football I am ready to focus everything I have on one last major challenge in club football and will be taking time out to consider my options before announcing my next move.”
While he was nowhere near as successful in MLS, Keane’s former Liverpool and Galaxy teammate Gerrard has also been linked with a move into coaching, specifically the coaching job at League One side MK Dons. Gerrard is also reportedly on the radar of Serie A outfit Inter.
In a further indication that a major shake-up is underway at the Galaxy, assistant coach Dave Sarachan also left the club this week to pursue other opportunities. Meanwhile, rumors persist about Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena being sounded out as a replacement for under-fire USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann.
Even if Arena stays, Galaxy president Chris Klein has his work cut out for him in lining up two Designated Players and a replacement for Sarachan. The Galaxy have been linked to a number of high profile transfer targets in Europe; namely Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both currently of Manchester United. Out of favor Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has also been rumored as a target for the club as has Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
Written by Alex Baker. Photos by ISI / BPI.