BARCELONA – The Los Angeles Galaxy already have one of the most star-laden lineups in the MLS, and after adding another marquee name to the roster, they have possibly made the league's most dangerous team even more potent.
Irish star Robbie Keane is expected to make his debut when the Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
With Landon Donovan and David Beckham, Los Angeles (13-3-9) hasn't been lacking in high-profile names, but the Galaxy picked up yet another international star when Keane, Ireland's national team captain, agreed to join the club.
Keane is moving from Tottenham Hotspur, where the 31-year-old striker scored just one goal in 10 matches last season, resulting in a drop in the depth chart. While he desired to stay in the Premier League, he became interested in the Galaxy after training with Beckham, who joined the league in 2007.
"I have always wanted to come and play in MLS, so it's the perfect combination for me and a dream come true," said Keane, the 10th-leading goal-scorer in Premier League history with 123. "When David Beckham came and trained at Spurs recently, he couldn't speak highly enough about the Galaxy, their fans and the league in general, so I can't wait to get over and get started."
Keane has 51 goals in his career with the Irish national team, including five in six recent matches during group qualifying play for Euro 2012. The hope is he can provide an additional scoring threat to go along with Donovan's team-high 11 goals.
Keane joins a Galaxy club that is already the top team in the league, holding a five-point lead over FC Dallas for the best record. Los Angeles is 4-1 in its last five league games and has been rolling thanks in part to Beckham.
The Galaxy's last league match was a 3-1 victory over Dallas on Aug. 6 in which Beckham had two assists, giving him 10 for the season.
"I don't think he's surprising anybody at this point," Donovan said. "I think everybody knows what he can do, and it's our job to get in the right spot and make the right plays once he serves the ball."
On Tuesday, Los Angeles defeated CD Motagua in CONCACAF play.
Keane's addition isn't the only storyline heading into Saturday. The Galaxy lost goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to a fractured arm when he collided with San Jose's Khari Stephenson in a scoreless draw against the Earthquakes on June 25.
Backup Josh Saunders would later be ejected when he deliberately swung an elbow to the face of Steven Lenhart in retaliation for another play. Forward Mike Magee would complete that game in net.
While Los Angeles looks to strengthen its grip on first place, San Jose (5-9-10) leads only league-worst Vancouver in the West. The Earthquakes are winless in a franchise-record 11 straight games, going 0-6-5 while scoring six goals.
They are coming off a 2-1 loss to Colorado last Saturday. Midfielder Sam Cronin was ejected in the 50th minute after picking up a red card with the game tied.
"I thought we played well," coach Frank Yallop said. "For some reason we're not getting breaks, but we can't give up. ... Even after the red card we played well."
The Galaxy have a four-game home unbeaten streak against the Earthquakes.