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Dirty Tackle

‘Unidentified fan’ Robbie Keane helps keep LA Galaxy alive in MLS playoffs

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

He scored 16 goals in his first full season in MLS, he's one of the league's highest paid players and yet last week Robbie Keane was still labeled as nothing more than an "unidentified fan" in a picture with David Beckham and Russell Brand at a Lakers game last week. But after hitting the post in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 loss to San Jose in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals, Robbie Keane delivered when his side needed him most.

Keane scored the vital first two goals of LA's three-goal rampage in the first half of the second leg against San Jose, which led to the defending champs advancing to the Western Conference Championship (the MLS Cup semifinals) against either Seattle or Salt Lake.

San Jose, who had the best record in the league this season, tried to fight back in the second half, getting a late goal back from substitute Alan Gordon in the 82nd minute to put the aggregate score at 3-2 and nearly finding an equalizer before the final whistle, but LA's wealth of talent held on. Following questions about his motivation, Landon Donovan played with his old fire and set up two of the three goals.

As The Sporting News' Brian Straus pointed out during the game, Donovan and Keane earned a combined $5.8 million this season, while San Jose's entire squad made $3.2 million. The team's highest paid player, captain Chris Wondowoloski, who equaled the league record for most goals in a single season this year, made $300,000. Though this loss will sting for San Jose after such a great season, the takeaway from this tie should be that both sides have gotten a pretty nice return on their investments this season. And that the next time Robbie Keane is pictured with David Beckham and Russell Brand, he's the only one who should be identified.

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