Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane’s LA adventure has gotten off to a dream start after he scored 21 minutes into his Major League Soccer debut as LA Galaxy beat San Jose 2-0.
Keane waltzed on to a David Beckham free-kick and rounded visiting goalkeeper Jon Busch before celebrating with his trademark cartwheel.
In the 64th minute, he almost netted a second, out-pacing two defenders before sending his shot just over the crossbar.
The 31-year-old Dubliner left the pitch in the 72nd minute to a standing ovation from the 27,000 crowd at the Home Depot Centre.
Keane said: “It couldn’t have gone better for me. When you come to a new team, it’s always good to get the first goal.
“When you go a few games without a goal, it starts to play on your mind.”
Keane was named in the starting line-up despite training only once with his new team since moving from Tottenham Hotspur for a reported fee of £3.5m.
Beckham was delighted with Keane’s contribution, saying: “I knew he was going to be running, and I knew where to put it.
“He’s a player who knows where to run, and if you’re on the same wavelength as him, you’ve got a real good chance. He’s always going to make good runs, and it’s up to us to find him.”
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said: “We’re elated with Robbie. I think he had a great 70 minutes tonight, and he’s going to have a lot more.
“I know Robbie’s fitness isn’t perhaps where he wants it to be, but he’s a fit athlete. When he gets two or three games under his belt, he’s going to be fine.”
Meanwhile LA Galaxy’s owner, AEG, which is shelling out the $9m in salary and transfer fees, will also be encouraged by the news that by full-time, all merchandise bearing the name of Robbie Keane had sold out.