GALAXY: Ireland out, Keane L.A.-bound
June, 14, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
AP Photo/Peter MorrisonIreland's Robbie Keane reacts at the end of the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group C match between Spain and Ireland. Ireland lost the match, 0-4.
Robbie Keane will be back with the Galaxy next week, following Ireland's first-stage finale, after the Republic was eliminated from Euro 2012 contention with a lopsided loss to Spain.
The Irish, despite strong support from their legendary Green Army, are the first team ousted from the European Championship after Thursday's 4-0 defeat in Gdansk, Poland. They lost their Group C opener Sunday to Croatia and complete their schedule Monday against Italy in Poznan. The Italians must win to advance.
Keane, Ireland's captain, is expected to rejoin the Galaxy when they return from Wednesday's game at Real Salt Lake, although a club spokesman Thursday said the striker's schedule was not known. The Galaxy return from a three-week break Sunday against Portland at Home Depot Center. Keane has missed three Galaxy games, including the U.S. Open Cup defeat, while with the Irish squad.
Spain dominated Thursday's game, and after the game former Irish captain Roy Keane voiced his displeasure.
“It was a wake-up call for these players,” he said. “The goals they gave away tonight at any level were absolutely shocking.”
Ireland, the underdog in a a very difficult group, fell behind Spain on the first of two Fernando Torres goals in the fourth minute. The Spaniards, Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup champion, held two-thirds of possession, spent much of the match in and around the Irish box, and outfired their foe, 26-6, putting 20 shots on target.
David Silva, Cesc Fabregas and Torres scored second-half goals.
Ireland was making its first European Championship appearance since 1988 and playing in its first major championship since the 2002 World Cup. They are one of two teams to play twice without a point -- Holland remains alive at 0-2-0 in Group B -- and have conceded a tournament-worst seven goals. Only one other team has surrendered more than three.
Editor's note: In an earlier version of this post quotes from former Irish captain Roy Keane were mistakenly attributed to current Irish forward Robbie Keane.