Los Angeles Soccer: Celtic FC
If Robbie Keane doesn't accept a loan deal with English club Aston Villa, he might have an opportunity to the north.The Scottish Sun reported Wednesday that Glasgow giant Celtic could offer the Galaxy forward a two-month deal if talks with Villa collapse.
Keane scored a dozen goals in 16 Scottish Premier League games during a four-month loan in 2010 from London's Tottenham to Celtic, where he received the fans' player-of-the-year award.
The Scottish Sun, citing no sources, claims Celtic manager Neil Lennon is following the Irish striker's saga in England and have informed his representatives that the option exists.
British tabloid Daily Mail reports that Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish, unwilling to become involved in a drawn-out process, has set the end of this week as a deadline for working out a deal with Keane, who is set to train with Tottenham until Jan. 20. McLeish has declined to comment on the matter.
Tim Leiweke, president of Galaxy ownership group AEG, told ESPN Los Angeles on Tuesday that the club would entertain loan offers for Keane, but “only if Robbie wants to do it.” Keane, whom L.A. acquired in August, said a few days after the Nov. 20 MLS Cup triumph over Houston that he wasn't looking to return to England on loan.
Galaxy captain Landon Donovan has started his second loan assignment with Everton and is set to play in the Toffees' English Premier League match against Bolton on Wednesday.
It's a fluke of scheduling more than anything else, but Rangers FC, with Fontana's Maurice Edu making big contributions, is back atop the Scottish Premier League standings.
The Blues toppled Aberdeen and St. Mirren last week to go to 25-5-2 for 77 points, one more than their hated Old Firm rival Celtic FC (24-3-4).
Celtic won its league game last week, beating St. Johnstone in a midweek clash, then routing Aberdeen on Sunday in a Scottish F.A. Cup semifinal. So the Bhoys have a game in hand, so if they win out, they claim their 43rd Scottish crown and first in three years.
Same holds for Rangers, which is seeking its 54th league title. The crown probably will be determined when the clubs face off Sunday, their seventh meeting this season, at Ibrox, the Blues' home ground. A draw favors Celtic.
Edu, who has had a fine season with the Glasgow power, capped a 1-0 midweek victory over Aberdeen with a blast that was just tipped over the crossbar. He set up Nikica Jelavic and Steven Davis for superb chances that weren't finished in Saturday's 2-1 win over St. Mirren.
BACK ON TOP: Huntington Beach's Sacha Kljestan returned to RSC Anderlecht's lineup and set up a goal in a 2-0 Belgian victory over Racing Genk in a showdown for the Jupiler League lead.
Manager Ariel Jacobs had omitted Kljestan, who left Chivas USA last summer to join the 30-time Belgian champion, from Les Mauves' first two games in the six-team, 10-game playoff round to determine the champion.
Fontana's Maurice Edu was taken off the field on a stretcher after suffering a knee injury in the first half of Rangers FC's 3-0 Scottish Premier League loss Wednesday to visiting Hibernian and will be examined more fully Thursday morning.
Edu (Etiwanda HS), a holding midfielder who played for the U.S. at the World Cup in South Africa, departed just before halftime after a lunging tackle by Hibernian's John Rankin caught his left knee, which also was hurt in May 2009, an injury that sidelined him seven months.
"Maurice took a knock on the knee, and at this stage we're not quite sure how bad it is," Rangers coach Walter Smith said on the club's website. "It's obviously quite painful for him, and we'll have to wait until the morning to find out how serious it is. ... Until we get a look at him tomorrow, we won't know for sure if there is any major damage or not."
The loss was Rangers' first in SPL play, but the Glasgow-based club maintained a one-point lead over sectarian "Old Firm" rival Celtic FC, which lost, 2-0, at Hearts.