SBI MLS MVP: Robbie Keane

RobbieKeaneLAGalaxy6 (LAGalaxy)


Based purely on statistics, no player was more important to their team over the course of the 2013 MLS regular season than Los Angeles Galaxy designated player Robbie Keane.

With the departure of David Beckham, the late return of Landon Donovan from his sabbatical, and the early-season trade of Mike Magee, even more pressure was placed on the back of the Ireland international, and he stepped up in a big way. Even though he only played in 23 games this season due to international call-ups and injuries, Keane was one of just two players to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists (16 goals, 11 assists on the season) and the Galaxy was 12-3-8 with Keane on the field in the regular season.

Without him, Bruce Arena’s side went 3-8-0.

But even beyond a statistical standpoint, Keane’s presence on the field was a massive boost to a side that is in a bit of a transformation period, with youngsters like Gyasi Zardes, Jose Villarreal, Kofi Opare, and Jack McBean all seeing significant playing time during the course of the season.

Even when Keane wasn’t scoring or dishing out assists, the 33-year-old forward attracted defenders away from his teammates, giving them ample opportunities to succeed.

Despite failing to reproduce his postseason performances from last season as the Galaxy fell, 2-1 on aggregate, to Real Salt Lake, Keane was voted as SBI’s 2013 MLS Most Valuable Player.

Keane beat out a deep field of contenders for the honor. Here is a rundown of the runners-up:


Between the Galaxy and the Chicago Fire, Mike Magee proved to be one of MLS’ most lethal goal-scorers. Magee, who finished with 21 goals on the season, nearly single-handedly carried the Fire on his back late in the season, as they made an unsuccessful push towards clinching a place in the MLS Cup playoffs.


Though it took him some time to find his goal-scoring boots, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill turned into one of the team and league’s most valuable assets, playing anywhere from striker to defensive midfielder. After scoring just once in his first 20 games in MLS, Cahill scored 11 times in his next 19 games to go with five assists on the year.


Like Cahil, Di Vaio took some time to settle into MLS. But once he did, the Italian striker was as lethal as he has been nearly everywhere that he’s played. The Montreal Impact forward scored 20 goals and had two assists on the season, though he tired late in the year, scoring just once in his final five appearances.


There were plenty of other candidates for the award this season, such as Camilo Sanvezzo, Diego Valeri, or Javier Morales, but Keane and the three others above stood out from the rest as voted by the SBI staff.

What did you think of our selection? Which player stood out to you as MVP in 2013?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to SBI MLS MVP: Robbie Keane

  1. SONY says:

    If the award is for diving and whining then he’s the best choice.

  2. BrianK says:

    Well done. Keane was the MVP. Magee a close second. What was LA thinking trading Magee? Pity.

  3. alocksley says:

    Well deserved. Far and away the most technically gifted, dangerous player in MLS.

    • JRP says:

      Agreed. He is by far the most technically gifted and dangerous player in the league. I wish he could play with heart instead of constantly whining about everyone: ref, other team, teammates.

  4. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Have to disagree. Magee, by far, was the MVP. Without him, the Fire don’t climb into playoff contention. Without him, the Galaxy lose a major finisher, especially during playoff time, as we saw against RSL. Sometimes, absence can determine value more than presence can.

    For example…

    link to

  5. DUDEEROO says:

    Javier Morales.

  6. TomG says:

    Magee. Just look at the numbers. It’s obvious he was the most valuable player for both his teams in goals and in wins.

  7. a says:

    how do you grade this?

    based on the contribution to the team right?

    is that stats or depending on them winning a trophy?

    saw you score 20 goals in 25 matches and your team finishes 4th or loses out in the semis vs
    a player who scores 5 goals but assists 6 goals to assist his weary crappy team to the final of the tournament. who deserves it more? the player who is the best or the 1 who guides his crappy team somewhere?

  8. Joamiq says:

    Keane didn’t play enough games for me. I don’t think he provided more value in 23 games than the other guys did in their seasons. For me it’s Magee first, Cahill second. No one will pick Cahill, but his defensive contributions were immense, while the other three provide just about nothing on that side of the ball.

  9. Joamiq says:

    Also, a question – if Magee converts that late season penalty (against Vancouver I think) and finishes with one more goal and Chicago makes the playoffs… he wins easy, right?

  10. Andre Mariner says:

    How did that Magee character not win? His stats and contribution blow anyone else out of the water.

    You love the LA Galaxy too much. Write something good about me when I give them a ton of penalties next season.

  11. HoBo says:

    Keane is a good choice…….. if Magee and the Chicago fire would have gotten into the playoffs maybe its different story but as it stands, good choice.

  12. Andrew Bissonette says:

    Imagine how many goals Cahill would’ve had this year if the Red Bulls had some good wingers crossing the ball into him.

    • ElMetrofan says:

      At least 6 or more. It was sick watching him score those headers. Maybe that’s something we can find next year. A DP winger or DP CAM would change things.

      • Brain Guy says:

        At this point in his career, is it crazy to consider playing Henry on a wing and pairing Cahill with another forward?

  13. Brain Guy says:

    Not saying he’s an MVP candidates, but when Olave was out I think RBNY were 0-3-2 – and that’s not counting Leg 2 against Houston. On the other hand, he was responsible for that last one. Anyway, he and Cahill were the keys this year.

  14. kshep says:

    Lol, Keane as league MVP too funny.. MVW (Most Valuable Whiner, would be a better award for him) Magee all the way, and I’m a TFC supporter, so I’m not being a homer here.

  15. euroman says:

    Yeah without RK no way LA could have finished 3rd I the West and gone out in the first round of the playoffs, he was awesome. He’s also a great bargain at only $5 million a season.

  16. HoboMike says:

    Love how Ives kept repeating on the podcast that Keane would be the MVP because voters “don’t watch a lot of games and go by names.” The implication was that actual soccer watchers would pick soemone else. Yet, Keane is the SBI MVP.

    Slightly interesting.

  17. Soccerhorn says:

    Tough call here. I’m a Galaxy homer all the way, but I have to say, Keane was gone for at least ten games due to Ireland call ups, and more importantly, he tanked in the playoffs. More importantly, I’d like to see Magee get the award because a) like all Galaxy supporters, I still freaking love the guy and consider him the soul of our championship teams, and b) it would twist the knife in Chris Klein’s side that much more, and maybe, just MAYBE, force an apology out of him for overseeing the #worsttradeinMLShistory.