Jake Keegan at St. Patrick's Athletic FC (Ireland)

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by Dave Marino-Nachison, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Snip:

    But when the excitement of being drafted into MLS settled and Keegan reevaluated his options, he chose to go overseas. Putting his dream on the back burner wasn’t a decision that came easily, but Keegan said the opportunity to try out for Maccabi Haifa F.C., one of the biggest teams in Israel’s top soccer league, was “just too good to pass up.”

    “I really enjoyed my time in Israel,” Keegan said. “Everyone within the city lived and breathed Maccabi Haifa.”

    While Maccabi Haifa didn’t offer him a contract, Keegan was exposed to a higher level of play in Israel and was able to improve his game.

    From there, Keegan trained with FC Lustenau, a team in Austria’s lower league, before returning to the United States to play with Jersey Express S.C. over the summer. The Newark-based amateur team is part of the Premier Development League, the top-level amateur soccer competition in the United States.

    Now, Keegan is signed with FCA Darmstadt in Germany.
    http://www.bupipedream.com/sports/22380/former-bu-star-keegan-chasing-dream/

    Played at Binghamton U. and was a Supplemental Draft selection.

    http://www.bubearcats.com/index.php/athlete/jake_keegan

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/players/jake-keegan

    I actually saw him play (on TV) as a freshman and thought he might turn into a pro prospect. Good to see him getting a chance.
     
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  2. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Snip:

    Following his success with the Flames and Binghampton University, Keegan was drafted by the Philadelphia Union in the 3rd round of the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft. Keegan turned down that opportunity for a chance to go on trial with Israelian club Maccabi Haifa F.C. Keegan ultimately wasn’t signed by Maccabi Haifa and went on to train with Austrian club F.C. Lustenau.

    Keegan returned to the USL PDL to play for the Jersey Express during the first part of the 2013 season before going back to Austria with Lustenau and then ultimately Germany where he was signed by Darmstadt.
    http://www.uslsoccer.com/home/765823.html
     
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  3. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Roslindale, MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It looks like he's at Galway FC now, a newly-formed club in the second tier of the League of Ireland. Galway United went bust a few years back, but two smaller local clubs, Salthill Devon and Mervue United, merged to create a new unified Galway team.
     
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  4. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

    Manchester United, Galway United, New York Red Bulls
    Nov 2, 2001
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
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  5. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

    Manchester United, Galway United, New York Red Bulls
    Nov 2, 2001
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
  6. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    #7 Dave Marino-Nachison, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
    Seems to me Keegan should be able to succeed at this level. Good luck to him.
     
  7. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  8. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    From that story:

    Jake then signed with FCA Darmstadt in Germany and scored 10 goals in his first 10 games in the Hessenliga, the fifth division of German soccer.
    Seems to make sense that a guy considered an MLS prospect might dominate at the Germany fifth-division level, but it's good to see that confirmed somewhat. How much higher Ireland's second-division is than that, I can't really say, but I'm sure it's a noticeable step up.
     
  9. BM-Hattrick

    BM-Hattrick Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Germany
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I think there is a mistake in that soccerwire article. If Keegan joined Darmstadt in last years summer then he played with them in the Verbandsliga Hessen, that is actually the sixth division in german soccer. He is also listed in this seasons scorerchart for the Verbandsliga Hessen with 12 goals.
     
  10. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    The level of his German club may be incorrect (I don't know) but the chronology is right. He was drafted in 2013, went overseas, ended up in Germany and joined the Irish club for the calendar year 2014 season.
     
  11. BM-Hattrick

    BM-Hattrick Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Germany
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Yes the chronology is right, I just wanted to point out that FCA Darmstadt is in the sixth division. I think going to Ireland div 2 will be a big step up for him either way.
     
  12. The Irish Rover

    The Irish Rover Member+

    Aug 1, 2010
    Dublin
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    I can't comment on the level of German D6, but League of Ireland D2 is not a strong league at all; even D1 teams would be on the same level as USL Pro strugglers like the Harrisburg City Islanders.

    The other problem is that the League of Ireland is only scouted by English & Scottish teams, so no matter how well he plays he's going to run into WP issues like Ryan Guy did some years back. Guy was seriously recruited by Tranmere Rovers, but couldn't get a WP.

    I don't know what his options were in Germany, but I'd have stayed there a bit longer to try to break into the Regional Liga (D4). If he's adequate at that level he can make a fairly decent living & learn a foreign language while he's at it. Worst comes to worst he could teach High School German and coach when he goes back to the US.
     
  13. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    #15 gufcfan, Jun 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
    Hi guys,

    Jake is doing well in Galway. He has scored 4 in his last 5 appearances. He hasn't really had the chance to play in his preferred position that often. He has generally been deployed as a winger.

    He scored his first goal in the club's second competitive game of the season, a League Cup game, back in early March. He didn't score again until about 3 weeks ago, a goal away from home that earned a 1-1 draw. That was his first league goal for Galway FC.

    Including that goal, he now has 4 league goals in 5 matches, all of them scored away from home. His latest goal on Friday night was to top off a 4-2 away win at Shelbourne FC in Dublin.

    Jake has played in every match so far this season, but they have been split pretty much 50/50 between starts and substitute appearances.



    His goal is at 2:15, but it's a short clip and some of the others were crackers. Galway FC in green and white away strip. Listen to the end of the clip ;)
     
  14. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    Jake has 5 in 6 now. Rounded off a 3-1 win at Premier Division UCD away from home, in the FAI Cup (main cup competition). Into the round of 16 now.
     
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  15. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Using too many parentheses
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    Impressive strike, impressive crowd! ;)
     
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  16. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    Jake's goal in the 3-1 win v UCD on Friday night in the cup.
     
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  17. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
  18. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    Video of most of Galway FC's goals this season. A few of Jake's are in there. Footage not great but all goals are labelled.

     
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  19. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    [​IMG]

    Nice shot of Jake from last night. Didn't score but contributed to a 1-0 win.

     
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  20. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    Jake scored twice tonight in a 5-0 home win. Was heavily involved in some of the others also.
     
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  21. gufcfan

    gufcfan Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Club:
    Galway United
    Video of the goals.

    Jake knocked it down for Vinny Faherty to score the first, nodded the 3rd in himself and rolled the 5th into the net too.

    His parents are on vacation from the states to see him too, so they picked a good one.

    It might look like the quality of football is very poor, but it must be said that the opposition are a reserve side and are very young with little physical presence. You still can only beat what is put in front of you though.

     
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  22. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Using too many parentheses
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    #24 ImaPuppy, Jul 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
    I imagine quite a few of our NCAA D-I guys could make it at this level.

    @gufcfan how would you say Keegan compares to other players his age at this level? What percentage class would you say he's in overall in the league? Is he one of the top players? Do you think he's being or will be scouted soon by IPL clubs? Gotta admit I thought it was a little strange to see an MLS draftee in the German 6th level and now in the Irish 2nd level, as I think he could aim a little higher, but I'm sure you have a much better feel for this than we can see from highlights.

    Thanks for your updates by the way, these clubs in exotic leagues are always interesting follows for us fans.

    Edit: Also, I was curious as to what the roster rules were in the Airtricity league. Is Jake taking up a foreign spot? Do they even count such things there?

    Thanks again.
     
  23. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    I'm actually pretty impressed with the way Keegan has handled his career. I saw him as a guy who would have been lost on an MLS team as a rookie -- he does a lot of things well, and is physically pretty good, but didn't seem to have any category in which he really blew other guys away; he was just better than most of them. Now he's got two years of professional ball, good training and some appearance numbers under his belt.

    For (some) context, Ryan Guy was pretty much a week-in, week-out starter at the top Irish level for several years and was a part-time starter in MLS for a while. If that's a decent indicator (and it is just one data point, but MLS-level Americans have never seemed to spend a lot of time in Ireland that I have seen) then the next year for Keegan will be telling.

    It's probably that he's a decent pro who isn't quite MLS starter level. In that case, if you really want a career in the game, it probably pays to leave the States. Of course, jumping around as Jake has isn't for everybody.
     
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