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L.A.’s Keane ejected from CCL win, but damage minimal

Robbie Keane

Los Angeles Galaxy’s Robbie Keane controls the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal soccer match against Toronto FC in Toronto on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The match ended 2-2. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


Los Angeles Galaxy players and coaches were clearly frustrated with one particular refereeing decision during Thursday’s successful entry into CONCACAF Champions League play.

Robbie Keane (pictured) was shown a controversial red for allegedly diving, and then probably for dissent – although the decision was never properly explained.

It all happened as the Galaxy seized some high ground on its three-team group with a comfortable 5-2 result over El Salvador’s Metapán.

It was comfortable, that is, except for Keane’s ejection.

On the one hand, they probably have a point; the decision seemed dubious.

On the other hand, it won’t matter. This is not a big deal in the big picture. Here’s why:

Like other MLS teams involved in Champions League action, the schedule ahead is somewhere between difficult and ridiculous. Last night’s match was the first of four over 11 days for the Galaxy.

In a word: brutal.

So, Keane was unlikely to start in all four matches, anyway.

Now, he can play this weekend at home against red hot Dallas. He’ll be suspended from next week’s CCL home match against the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Yes, it’s the same Puerto Rico Islanders club that upset Los Angeles in group stage of the 2010-11 CCL tournament. Still, the star-strewn Galaxy should be able to navigate through a second-tier side at home, with or without Keane. If they cannot, it will not be the referee’s fault. So, let’s just take that off the table.

David Beckham and Landon Donovan remain upright, after all.

Keane’s ejection surely stung last night, but the welt should reduce in size quickly on this one.