Robbie Keane didn't waste any time in getting his MLS career off to a good start with a goal in his first match for the Galaxy.
The league-leading Galaxy have struggled this season to get scoring from their forwards, but Keane, who arrived Thursday on a $3.5 million transfer from English club Tottenham Hotspur, wasted little time showing that trend may be a thing of the past.
Keane nearly scored in the 13th minute after a Landon Donovan through ball, but his hard-hit shot was blocked by San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch. He came close again two minutes later when David Beckham’s through ball found him alone in the penalty box, but Busch deflected Keane’s shot inches wide.
The Ireland captain lived up to his reputation as a poacher in the 21st minute, capitalizing on poor defending from the visiting Earthquakes. David Beckham caught the San Jose defense napping in the with a quick restart at midfield, finding Keane all alone with Busch. The Ireland captain calmly settled the ball, rounded Busch and tapped in for his first MLS goal, celebrating with a somersault and a fist pump.
"I think when you come to a new team it’s always nice to get your first goal," Keane said after the match. "You know, when you go for a few games without scoring, sometimes it can play on your mind. So it was nice obviously to get the first goal and hopefully there’s a lot more to come."
Keane received a loud ovation from the home fans when he gave way in the 72nd minute for Mike Magee. Magee got a goal of his own in the 90th minute, when he finished a Sean Franklin cross.
"I didn’t run out of gas," Keane said of being taken off. "Bruce just took me out when I wanted to stay on. It was obviously the right decision with the travel and a few days. I felt good considering that I’ve only trained once with the lads, I felt sharp. Of course towards the second half you’re going to get a little bit tired. But to get 70 minutes under my belt is certainly going to stand me in good stead in the coming games."
With the win, the Galaxy extended San Jose’s franchise-record winless streak to 12 games and avenged a memorable 0-0 draw in the clubs’ previous meeting in May. In that game, starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts went out in the 24th minute with a fractured arm, backup Josh Saunders was ejected for a straight red card in the 43rd minute, and the Galaxy finished the match with Magee in net. Magee had four saves and the game finished 0-0.