Robbie Keane in line for LA Galaxy debut against San Jose this Saturday
Irish captain receives work permit and flies to the West Coast
Robbie Keane will make his MLS debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy against the San Jose Earthquake on Saturday night.
Keane is en route to American after receiving his visa at the US embassy in Dublin on Wednesday.
The Ireland captain will be introduced to his new team-mates by Galaxy star and former opponent David Beckham on Friday.
Beckham became friendly with Keane when he trained at Tottenham Hotspur over the winter.
A press conference has also been called for Friday when the Galaxy will officially unveil Keane after offloading Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel to the Chivas USA side.
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After signing a two year deal, with a reported $9million, Keane is anxious to play for his new club as soon as possible.
“I am fit and ready to go,” said the 31-year-old Irish record goalscorer who is confident that jet lag won’t be a problem after flying to the States on Thursday.
Asked if Keane will play against the San Jose outfit on Saturday night, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena said: “It’s possible.”
The arrival of Keane in the MLS has been greeted by fellow Irish international Caleb Folan, now playing for the Colorado Rapids in the States.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Folan told ColoradoRapids.com. “It’s crazy because I never knew beforehand the interest from the States in Robbie Keane.
“And I didn’t know it was a vision for him to come here, either. I was quite surprised and amazed at the same time.”
Folan actually played with Keane at Leeds United when he was a youngster before they team up together for Ireland under Giovanni Trapattoni.
“I was around him as a young player and used to watch him a lot and try and see what he was all about,” said Folan. “It’s amazing for the League, he’s a great player.
“The most memorable game as teammates was probably against Italy in 2009, where I set up his goal and we drew 1-1.”
Having played 19 times for the Rapids this season, scoring five goals in the process, Folan believes Keane will be a success in America.
“You’re playing in a different environment,” said Folan. “It takes a while to get used to your team, the climate changes, the traveling, and also the style of play.
“But he’s an experienced player who’s played at every level possible and he’s always scored goals and performed, so I’m sure he’ll be an exciting player to watch in the league. I think he’ll do really well.”
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