Robbie Keane endorses Kevin Doyle US move

Kevin Doyle will have Robbie Keane to thank if a potential lucrative move to Major League Soccer comes to pass. 

Wanted by Colorado Rapids, the Wexford native has been considering the switch in recent weeks but it was a glowing recommendation from Keane which got the ball rolling.

Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni needed a second opinion on the 31-year-old when weighing up whether the Wolves front man was worth pursuing, and so he reached out to Keane for advice.

Naturally, LA Galaxy captain Keane, who has been a long-time Ireland team-mate of Doyle, spoke fondly of someone he believes can make a big impact in America.

“I got a call from the Rapids manager Pablo, I used to play with him at Galaxy, and he asked me about Kevin. I highly recommended Kevin to him,” admitted Keane.

“He would certainly do well over there. If he goes, it will be great for him. I told Pablo that you could not wish to have a better person.

“He’s a great guy off the pitch, works hard, works his socks off on the pitch, and is a handful. Kevin scores goals, so he would be perfect for them. If he goes to MLS, I will be delighted to have him over there.”

Speaking in Dublin yesterday as Galaxy arrived for a pre-season trip, Keane was in buoyant mood but his club-mates didn’t thank him for the rain that bucketed down in Gannon Park, Malahide.

Yet, they will continue to follow Keane’s lead, going into the new MLS season, which kicks off next month. Still a hugely influential player, the 34-year-old is seen as one of the league’s all-time greats, according to head coach Bruce Arena.

“There has been a lot of top players in our league but probably few that have achieved the success that Robbie has,” said Arena of his captain.

“He’s the most valuable player in our league now and continues to maintain his international career with Ireland, which we think is great. He has certainly been a great addition, not only to LA Galaxy, but to Major League Soccer.”

Keane will hardly have got back into his rhythm with Galaxy before he will be back on a flight to Dublin for Ireland’s crucial Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland — a game he calls a “must-not lose”.

Having lost their last game away to Scotland in November, Martin O’Neill’s team must get that winning habit back.

Poland, who arrive at Aviva Stadium on March 29, are leading Group D with Germany, Scotland, and Ireland trailing behind. But it’s up to Keane and company to make up that ground.

“I certainly think that after the last result, I would not say that it’s a must-win but it’s certainly a game that we cannot lose — especially playing at home,” said Keane.

“At home it’s important you get three points no matter who you are playing, regardless of how good or bad they are, to get three points. Certainly, our philosophy is to make sure that we don’t lose.

“Scotland had a good result against us last time. We are not far off them. It’s important that we pick up points now, especially at home because the next few games are crucial.”

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