Steven Gerard is going to have a fantastic impact for the Galaxy this season. Friday night showed us why.
For the past several weeks the LA Galaxy were reeling. A slew of injuries and poor play culminated in a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of an expansion team. With the announcement of a new stadium for LAFC, it seemed things were going from bad to worse. For 55 minutes on Friday night things seemed to be headed in the same direction. Dominating possession in the defensive and middle thirds of the pitch resulted in no shots on goal and precious few passes connected in the crucial final third.
With Houston content to sit and put numbers behind the ball, it seemed the best the home side could hope for was a scoreless draw. Robbie Keane entered Friday's game against the Houston Dynamo and in 40 minutes not only changed the outcome of the game, but showed why Steven Gerrard's signing will be great for the Galaxy.
Robbie Keane came on as a substitute to thunderous applause at the 55’ mark and instantly injected the leadership that’s been missing from the LA Galaxy during his absence. He was yelling at teammates, directing traffic, demanding more from players and raising the bar on the team's play. He then put the cherry on the top of his performance and provided the game winning assist. He turned what was another worrisome outing by the club into three points, and in the process showed what a powerful impact a leader can have on a team.
Steven Gerrard is another player of that leadership caliber. Whether by watching him play over the years or reading the tributes coming from across the pond the past few weeks as Gerrard played his last games for Liverpool, it is abundantly clear that he has been an amazing footballer. More than that, he's been a fantastic leader. He brings out the best in others and pushes them to achieve more than what they thought they could. He rises to the biggest challenges, and helps his teammates do the same. By bringing him to the Galaxy, Bruce & Co. have tapped the perfect player to bring even more leadership to the club.
Even if Steven Gerrard struggles in his first season in MLS, as many big name players have done, the intangible leadership qualities he will bring to the pitch are going to be huge for the Galaxy. Robbie Keane showed what a world class leader can do in just 40 minutes, imagine when both he and Gerrard on the field for the full 90.
Don't get me wrong, we've got a lot of work to do before Gerrard comes. But with him and Keane on the field at the same time, we've got the rest of MLS right where we want them.
The past few weeks have been rough for Galaxy fans. But Robbie Keane came onto the field on Friday and reminded all of us who we are: We are LA. We're the NY Yankees of MLS. We're being chased by everyone. We'll be #FirstToSix.