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Galaxy Notebook: Keane battling confidence issues, Meyer takes his lumps and more

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CARSON, Calif. — Robbie Keane arrived in Los Angeles with a swagger and a clinical scoring touch, but now as he enters his second season with the Los Angeles Galaxy, it appears that he will have to re-discover it all over again. 

Since returning from an offseason loan to Aston Villa, Keane has been unable to develop a real connection with his new forward partner Edson Buddle while also failing to display the clinical touch that he enjoyed just months ago. Against Toronto on Wednesday, the Irishman appeared tentative in front of goal, earning several dangerous scoring opportunities, not to lose the ball or see it saved by TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic. 

The perfect microcosm for Keane's struggles came in the 74th minute when he botched a one-on-one against Kocic, resulting in a huge save for the Toronto goalkeeper. Following the Galaxy's shocking exit from the CONCACAF Champions League, head coach Bruce Arena was candid in his thoughts on Keane's problem. 

"He’s like a lot of athletes in their different sports. He’s lost a little confidence," said Arena. "He’s had some chances in these past three games. You lose your confidence a little bit. He’s going to have to get it back real quick. He’s had his chances so he’s going to have to turn it around."


Replacing reigning MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez was a stiff test for whomever earned the job–let alone, a rookie defender. 

In his second consecutive start, rookie Tommy Meyer endured a challenging performance, getting exposed on two instances by forward Ryan Johnson during the Galaxy's 2-1 defeat. Johnson schooled Meyer twice, slipping past the rookie to head in a Nick Soolsma cross for the opening goal before beating Meyer once more –this time on the left flank — to send in the cross for Soolsma's goal. 

During the postgame, Johnson told reporters that TFC actively targeted Meyer once they discovered that the rookie, not veteran Andrew Boyens starting in the Galaxy back four.  

"He was okay," Arena said of Meyer. "He got caught on a couple of plays. Inexperienced player and got burned on a few of them. He’s got to do a little bit better. He’s got to learn from it."

While Meyer had his share of difficult moments against Toronto, his centerback partner A.J. DeLaGarza was quick to take pressure off the young defender. 

"I thought he did a fine job. Me and him both need to do better at marking in the box," said DeLaGarza. "They had two goals today that you can blame on us, just not marking. We haven’t played with each other that much. It’s going to take some time."

Now as the Meyer and Galaxy look to regroup after the crushing loss, the rookie defender admitted that he simply needs time to grow into his demanding new role. 

"The only thing that I can do is keep working harder and learn from my mistakes and try not to make any mistakes in the game," Meyer said. "That’s the main goal that I keep playing confident and hopefully the results will come. It’s something that I need to keep working on and hopefully I get better as the season goes on."


  1. Hey BerlinTexas, I this article was about the Galaxy so what’s with the attitude, did you think you were reading an article about another team, or are you just to dumb to realize an article about LA is going to have comments about LA?

  2. +1! Keane is a pro…he has scorers amnesia! One of the top scorers in EPL history is not going to worry about a few MLS caliber games without scoring!!

  3. I don’t care how weak the shot was – when it’s point-blank and not hit straight at the goalkeeper, you have to be impressed if the keeper gets a hand on it. Perfect positioning and a fine reaction save by Kocic.

  4. Starting Meyer instead of Boyens was a huge mistake. But you can’t blame Meyer, he’s only played 1 professional game. Bruce Arena has to take the heat for this.

    Dunivant and Barrett were a complete embarassment during this game. They looked like amateurs on the field. They did nothing but turn the ball over time and time again. Buddle was invisible the entire night, and Keane couldn’t kick a ball into the ocean if he tried. Just an all around disappointing night for the GALS. Landon Donovan was the only bright spot for the team.

  5. every lob is “wimpy”. There is no such thing as a thunderous lob.

    “Easy save”? It’s not like Keane hit the lob into Kocic’s chest or at Kocic’s legs. Kocic had great positioning, and made a great reaction save to beat Keane’s lobbed effort away. It was top class goal-keeping.

  6. The Galaxy’s defense has been really bad over the three games they’ve played. They’ve allowed 7 goals over those three games. Meyer hasn’t been the only player not doing well on the back line. AJ Delegarza has made his share of mistakes. Arena needs to do something about that back line quick.

    Keane isn’t the only one that played better overseas. It seems Donovan played better for Everton than he’s been playing for the Galaxy. I’m not sure if his teammates aren’t finding him or what the answer is. What I have noticed over the three games is that Donovan keeps disappearing in games. I don’t get it. He’s good enough he should be able to run at opposing defenses and make those pinpoint passes to teammates in good positions, which he does from time to time, but for the most part he hasn’t seem to have been involved in the games. Also Sean Franklin is making some bad decisions and making poor crosses when he gets the ball and goes up the field. At this point in his career he should know where to put the ball when he crosses it.

    I think if you look at the Galaxy overall over the last three games they seem to be lacking something. They have the players to do very well, but there just doesn’t seem to be much fight (if that’s a correct description) in the way they’re playing. With the exception of Buddle who seems to go after every ball. Has anyone noticed when he goes down he’s not looking for a foul to be called, he’s getting up and going after the ball. The Galaxy are in poor form. The team is old with a good many of the starters 30 and over. Maybe fatigue with a group like that is an issue, then again they get paid to play and are expected to win. For the most part the team really don’t look good. If they don’t get their act together they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs. The west is going to be tough this year and no team is going to lay down just because they’re playing the Galaxy.

    And the save Kocic made when Keane tried to loft the ball over Kocic was a pretty weak, but Keane’s attempt was also pretty poor. Kocic made another save against the Galaxy, I think it was a kick save, that was pretty good. But Toronto has also looked very shaky and Kocic or Frei may not be enough to save Toronto against Santos Laguna.

  7. I wouldn’t exactly say 3 games is enough time for an indictment of lost confidence. The pitch in the Rogers Centre is terrible and Real Salt Lake have a stingy defense. Those are more convincing contributing factors to Keane’s early “poor form” than him losing his “swagger.”

  8. galaxy need to have a “you da man” party for Keane, to help with his confidence. this is the sort of party where teammates would frequently use the phrase “you da man Keano”.

  9. You are going to lose confidence when the other side has incredible support and you are limited to 7500.

    LA failed to negotiate a good deal for this tournament which seems to be growing everywhere except for LA….disappointing for the marquee club in MLS.

  10. It’s about time, TFC gets some props. That ridiculous announcer always says how bad they are and how Winter’s 4-3-3 wont work in America.

    They have been good for awhile now.

  11. After a bad 1st Half, Boyens was better in the 2nd Half of the 1st Leg. He deserved the start. Meyer was not good in the opener either.

    LA should have brought in an experienced defender for CCL. Arena is usually defensive-minded. If CCL was a big priority, he would have addressed the loss of Omar.

  12. Kocic was huge all game. I think he is the #1 over Frei. TFC just needs to find another quality defender after Caicedo wimped out.

    Like Stephen Keel for NY, Ty Harden should not be starting.

  13. LA will be okay but they are definitely having a slow start. In my opinion, Andrew Boyens should have started. Tommy Meyer is too inexperienced to be playing such an important game. Right now Boyens is the better of the two but I don’t think that will be the case at the end of the season.

  14. Kocic made a ridiculous save… how about we not marginalize teams/players not name the Galaxy?

    Is it any surprise that Keane goes from world class play for Aston Villa to ‘poor form’ when he comes to the rag-tag assembled Galaxy?

  15. Keane is gone this summer transfer window. The only thing that would have kept him was the promise of playing in the world club cup.

    And he’s not the only Galaxy player that didn’t deliver last night. Blah.


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