With Robbie Keane winning the 2014 MLS MVP and Landon Donovan playing in his final MLS game, the LA Galaxy have no shortage of storylines for the upcoming MLS Cup final. When they talked to the media in the official press conference ahead of the final, the story of the day was putting behind those distractions and putting a bow on what has been a memorable season.
"(Awards) are great, they mean something," said Robbie Keane. "If we didn't win the championship, it wouldn't mean that much to me. If we win the championship, it would be great news for me and the team. You need your teammates to score goals and you create for them without them I wouldn't [have won MVP]"
For Robbie Keane, who also was named to his third straight MLS Best XI, it's the latest in a career full of honors. Last year as well as in 2010 he was named FAI Player of the Year. He was named player of the year four times between Tottenham and Celtic. He's managed to find a rhythm in MLS which has him standing out each of his full seasons.
In 2012, the last time the LA Galaxy won MLS Cup and Keane's first full MLS season, not only did he make the Best XI but he was the top scorer in the playoffs. This year he hasn't scored as much in the playoffs, but he's played an undeniable role in creating.
Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan combined for four goals and four assists in the MLS Playoffs, but that all stems from one game against Real Salt Lake. Against Seattle they were shut out of the goal and assist ranks but that doesn't mean they weren't creating. Like the Gyasi Zardes scoring drought which masks his increase in high percentage shot choices, Keane and Donovan are just a good bounce away from breaking through.
"It doesn't feel like pressure for me. I'm personally very excited," said Landon Donovan. "It's mostly like business as usual"
In their third final in four years, there's not much about the experience that the Galaxy aren't prepared for. So long as they remain excited to get out of bed for training in the morning and can't wait to get to the final on sunday, things should go well. None of the build up matters unless the team goes out there are gets the proper ending.