The Los Angeles Galaxy announced on Jan. 11 that Designated Player Robbie Keane will be sent out on loan to English Premier League side Aston Villa. After all the rumors which had been floating around about Keane going on loan, this move is not a surprise. The Irish international will be on loan until right before the Galaxy play Toronto FC in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on March 7.
Keane will be back in time to play that match in Toronto. He will be immediately available for Aston Villa and could make his debut this weekend against teammate Landon Donovan who is on loan with Everton, Aston Villa's next opponent. Keane could play in up to eight matches for Aston Villa between the EPL schedule and FA Cup. While in Europe, the Irish captain will also play for his country against the Czech Republic in a friendly on Feb. 29.
Even before Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez tore his ACL during the first practice of his loan with FC Nuremberg, I was not thrilled about star players from our side going out on loan. I don't like the loans because of the injury risk, but also because of the fatigue factor. With the new U.S. Open Cup rule, all U.S. based MLS teams are now in the competition which means the title will be even harder to win now going forward. The 2012 season is already going to be the longest in MLS history, the last thing the Galaxy need in trying to defend their MLS Cup title is tired legs, if not injuries, from the stars.
Playing for Ireland involved plenty of travel for Keane at the tail end of last season after he was signed by the Galaxy. All that travel and playing through an injury certainly showed in some of the matches he suited up for our side. Overall, Keane was still very impressive with four goals and two assists in 11 matches across all competitions last season. He also scored in each of the matches of the Galaxy's Asia Pacific Tour after MLS Cup.
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"LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane to join Aston Villa on loan", LAGalaxy.com