GALAXY: Keane's loan ends in draw

Robbie Keane acknowledges the crowd after playing his final game for Aston Villa before returning to the Galaxy. AP Image/Press Association

Robbie Keane was full of good words for Aston Villa after the final game of his loan spell with the English Premier League club closed Saturday with a scoreless draw at Wigan Athletic.

The Irish forward, who scored three goals in seven appearances -- only one of them a victory -- returns to the Galaxy following Wednesday's Ireland-Czech Republic friendly in Dublin. The Galaxy are participating through March 3 in the Desert Diamond Cup tournament in Tucson, Ariz., then depart two days later for the March 7 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Toronto FC. The MLS opener is March 10 against Real Salt Lake at Home Depot Center.

“It's a fantastic club, with great support and a good coaching staff I have really enjoyed working with,” Keane told Sky Sports. “Ask any player, if you're playing on a regular basis and playing like a group of players like at Villa, then it makes you job a lot easier.

“I've enjoyed my time here. It's been great. The club have really looked after me, and the lads have been fantastic. At the moment they are just going through a rocky patch, but I'm sure they will come through that.”

Keane again was a catalyst for Villa's attack Saturday. He nearly beat Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi with a low blast in the first half, then played a ball behind the Latics' backline for a Darren Bent shot that Al Habsi stopped with his knee. Near the end, he was set for a shot before Wigan defender Emmerson Boyce slipped in to clear the ball.

Aston Villa (6-9-11), which lost Bent to an ankle injury in the 78th minute, remains 15th in the EPL, eight points above the relegation zone. Wigan (4-14-8) is last.



Jan. 14 vs. Everton (T, 1-1)

81st-minute substitute for Warnock

Jan. 21 at Wolverhampton (W, 3-2)

Started, subbed in second-half stoppage, two goals (51st and 84th minutes)

Jan. 29 FA Cup fourth round at Arsenal (L, 2-3)

Started, 90 minutes, assist (Dunne)

Feb. 1 vs. Queens Park Rangers (T, 2-2)

Started, 90 minutes

Feb. 5 at Newcastle United (L, 1-2)

Started, 90 minutes, goal (50th minute, in first-half stoppage)

Feb. 12 vs. Manchester City (L, 0-1)

Started, 90 minutes

Feb. 25 at Wigan Athletic (T, 0-0)

Started, 90 minutes


EPL: 6 games, 5 starts (459 minutes), 3 goals, club record 1-2-3

F.A. Cup: 1 games, 1 starts (90 minutes), 1 assist, club record 0-1-0

All competitions: 7 games, 6 starts (549 minutes), 3 goals, 1 assist, club record 1-3-3