Ireland, it is said, is a nation of begrudgers. 'Tis indeed. The only thing more brooding and begrudging than an Irishman is an Irishman crossed with a Russian Jew. And the current cause for begrudgery in Ireland is Robbie Keane.

On Monday, Keane signed with the LA Galaxy for $4.5 million a year, making him the fourth-highest paid player in MLS. Keane is Ireland's all-time leading scorer and the 10th-leading scorer in Premiership history. He's still a vital cog on his national side. But now that he'll be taking on weaker competition and flying halfway around the world for qualifiers, the begrudging has begun.


From the Evening Herald:

Players don't move to a club like LA Galaxy to kick-start a stalled career or to feed a hunger for top class football. Moving to LA Galaxy is the equivalent of Bono quitting U2 to move to Las Vegas and front a showband with the left-overs from The Commitments.

From Daniel McDonnell at the Irish Independent:

One thing is for sure: it doesn't quite seem real that the 31-year-old should be preparing to start life in the MLS with LA Galaxy, a club who operate in a universe where football is nothing. ...

Most footballers have an ego. It's just that Keane's is more apparent. The suspicion is that, in addition to the money and lifestyle, regaining the feeling of being top dog appealed more than the grind of the Championship. ...

Keane, who has scored more international goals than any Irish or British player, will be pleased to know that he has a chance to trailblaze in the CONCACAF Champions League, a competition for the top teams from Mexico, the US, and league winners from the rest of Central America and the Caribbean.

The only front man from this part of the world to figure in the scoring charts was Englishman David Foley of Puerto Rico Islanders, who nabbed four goals.

That's the same David Foley who made 98 league appearances in seven years at Hartlepool, and scored a grand total of zero goals. Stellar company alright. ...

Perhaps, by Christmas, the Dubliner will realise what it's like to operate in a culture where his sport is miles down the food chain. ...

Fun, sun and easy money. That's the American dream alright.

But there will be no begrudging in Los Angeles. The Keane, Donovan, Beckham partnership will be a dynamic one. Oh, and yes, Keane will be bringing his wife, Claudine. She's a former Miss Ireland contestant. And she is not unattractive:


The Ego Has Landed [Irish Independent]
Keane's options few in escape to L.A. [Evening Herald]