Ahead of his side’s friendly against Ireland in Dublin on Tuesday, US national team head coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann took his chance speaking to the Irish media to call Ireland and LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane the ideal “role model for all the [young] American players.”
The former German forward — who like Keane, played for Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan during his decorated career, and now resides in Southern California — lauded the 34-year-old for not only his exceptional in-game performances, but his professional means of preparation week in and week out.
“I often say that in the United States, Robbie Keane is a role model for all the American players growing up in this beautiful game.”
“Robbie is the same Robbie in training as in the game, so he is huge for MLS because these are the type of players that you need to have in your environment to make the league grow and to make younger players understand what the real big players are doing.
“At the same time, he continues to play for Ireland at the highest level, scoring goals, going back and forth, so I definitely use him a lot as an example how to do it.
“He will leave a huge mark, hopefully a long time down the road, when he leaves the game, with what he has done for MLS over the years.”
There’s no denying Keane has been one of the MLS’s best players since signing for the Galaxy in 2011. Look no further than his goalscoring and assists numbers for proof (53 goals, 35 assists in 84 regular-season appearances, including 19 and 14 in a 2014 season which sees him a favorite for the MVP award).
Sounds like Klinsmann is just happy he doesn’t have to prepare his team of Americans for the challenge of facing Keane on Tuesday, as he was sent to rejoin the Galaxy before this weekend’s Western Conference Championship first leg against the Seattle Sounders.