By DAN KARELL
Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s hopes to have Robbie Keane back for the Galaxy’s next game have been dashed by interim Ireland national team head coach Noel King.
In a statement on the Football Association of Ireland’s website, King decided that he won’t release Keane after Ireland faces Germany on Friday in the first of their final two World Cup qualifiers. Ireland has already been eliminated from qualification to Brazil 2014, but as it’s within the FIFA international dates, King has no obligation to release the 33-year-old forward.
“The Football Association of Ireland today confirmed that Noel King has responded this afternoon to the manager of LA Galaxy, Bruce Arena, to inform him that he has decided not to release Robbie Keane and trusts that he understands the position, having been an international manager himself.”
With three matches remaining, the Galaxy sit in fourth place in the Western Conference on 48 points, but their position in the standings is by no means safe. Their next game isn’t for seven days, but Arena’s side will likely be without four starters in the lineup: Keane, defender Omar Gonzalez (injured), forward Landon Donovan (with the USMNT) and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (with Panama).
Ireland plays their last World Cup qualifying game next Tuesday in Dublin against Kazakhstan, with the likelihood of Keane being able to return to Los Angeles fit to play pretty low.
What do you think of these developments? Surprised that Ireland wouldn’t release Keane? Do you believe that King should have released him? Do you see the Galaxy succeeding despite their international player absences?
Share your thoughts below.