Yesterday we learned from Scott French that Bruce Arena has indeed requested the return of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane after their Friday international matches. Jaime Penedo is also off with Panama, and Omar Gonzalez has been withdrawn from the United States squad with an injury. We've just learned that Robbie Keane will not be returning to the Galaxy squad early.
Noel King has turned down @LAGalaxy 's request to release Robbie Keane after Germany game. King "trusts he understands as former int'l boss"— Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh (@Ciaran_O) October 9, 2013
Ireland can still qualify, but only as a runner up in their group. However that's really only a mathematical possibility, as Sweden can eliminate them by earning one point and Ireland would need to overcome a six goal differential gap. Austria also factors into these proceedings, and realistically Ireland likely only has one meaningful match left as Sweden and Austria play each other Friday and Ireland is away in Germany.
The "understands as a former international boss" part reads like a manger needing to do all he can to win in order to lobby for his job. Certainly admitting defeat before mathematical elimination even when going up against Germany isn't going to look good on a coaching resume.
This means getting Landon Donovan's services back is now even more important. Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal haven't gotten extended first team minutes in some time, and Gyasi Zardes has really started to bloom in the midfield and that's progress not worth undoing.
For what it's worth, as the Irish captain as well as the LA Galaxy captain, Keane had a difficult decision to make. When asked for the Scott French article, Keane said it was up to his bosses.
More on this story as it develops.