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Galaxy’s Keane pays tribute to fallen Irish soccer fan

Vancouver Whitecaps v Los Angeles Galaxy

CARSON, CA - JUNE 23: Robbie Keane #7 of the Los Angeles Galaxy holds up a jersey with “RIP James Nolan” printed on the back in honor of a 21 year old Irish soccer fan who drowned in Poland while attending Euro 2012 after Keane scored a first half goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps at The Home Depot Center on June 23, 2012 in Carson, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Ordinarily, I might show you Robbie Keane’s goal Saturday against Vancouver as an example of some brutally awful defending. In fact, there was a bunch of that going around on the Whitecaps side Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

On this one, the second hit in a commanding 3-0 Galaxy win, Keane went slaloming through a static ‘Caps back line like an Olympic skier.

But what happened afterward was more meaningful in this case.

Keane has just returned from the European Championship, where he captained Ireland’s effort. (The Irish were eliminated after three losses in group play.)

The Irish players have a special relationship with their fans, and Keane showed as much following his 30th minute goal Saturday back here in the States. The Irish captain went immediately to the sideline to pay tribute to the family of Irish soccer fan James Nolan.

Nolan, a 21-year-old Ireland supporter, was in Poland to follow the team at Euro 2012. He went missing last Sunday; his body was found on Wednesday in a canal in Northern Poland after an apparent accidental drowning.

Watch Keane’s heartfelt tribute here: