Robbie Keane, Polarizing Character Falling Short Of His Upside For The Galaxy

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - JULY 08: Robbie Keane #7 of the Los Angeles Galaxy is congratulated by teammates including Juninho #19 after scoring on a penalty kick against the Chicago Fire during an MLS match at Toyota Park on July 8, 2012 in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Robbie Keane's tenure with the LA Galaxy has been polarizing. On the one hand, he's tied with Landon Donovan for the team goal lead and with Edson Buddle and Chad Barrett contributing half that total it's scary to think of this club without Keane's contributions. On the other hand, when Keane doesn't show up he really doesn't show up.

On the one hand you have Keane's performance against Chicago. He was two for two on shots, drew the handball in the box that resulted in the penalty and drew a foul late in the match for a free kick. Because a defender intentionally handling the ball is not a foul but a rule violation Keane doesn't get credit for earning the penalty, but he still finishes with a match impact rating of 96; clearly the star of the day.

On the other hand you have his performance against Philadelphia. Keane finishes with a match impact rating of 31.25. Three shots all before the thirty minute mark, two on target, with no success. The two on target shots were taken inside the goal area. He won a free kick at the halfway line, was tackled and lost possession eleven times.

Still he finishes just one of those three chances and it's a different match entirely. This may be the most maddening thing about Keane. He and Landon Donovan are both finishing about 15% of their chances. For contrast, Chris Wondolowski has finished 22% of his chances, while taking 23 more shots.

Keane with his foot on the ball is the end goal of this offense, and thus far the strategy has worked at a coin flip clip. On a given night it's tough to know which Keane will show up. It could be a lot worse, Kei Kamara has made six out of seventy two shots. But if it were just the slightest bit better, the Galaxy pick up a few wins and there's no questioning Keane's work ethic.

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