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Keane to start vs. Juventus

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

United wind up their four-match U.S. tour, sponsored by Championsworld, Inc., against Spanish giants Barcelona at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday. Both Juventus and Barcelona games kick off at 8 p.m. and will be televised live by the FOXSportsworld cable network.
Keane is tipped to start against the Italians at Giants Stadium after being limited to only 45 labored minutes in United’s 4-0 destruction of Celtic in Seattle last week.
The former Irish skipper was far from his best against the Bhoys, despite a display of clinical finishing by Ruud van Nistelrooy (7th), Ryan Giggs (28th), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (39th), and David Bellion (72nd) in front of a Pacific Northwest record 66,722 soccer fans at the Seahawk Stadium.
With United leading 1-0 on van Nistelrooy’s opener, Keane threw the Scots a lifeline when he upended Stilian Petrov in the penalty box. However, Alan Thompson missed the resultant spot-kick and Celtic never recovered.
Keane, United’s captain, was replaced at halftime by Argentine Juan Sebastian Veron, who played the entire match against Club America. Van Nistelrooy (46th) and Diego Forlan (49th, 79th) scored against the Mexicans, whose Christian Patino (87th) pulled one back.
United’s other Irish stars, 22-year-old defender John O’Shea and goalkeeper Roy Carroll, both played against Celtic, although the latter savored the win over Club America from the bench.
Keane returns to Giants Stadium for the first time since Ireland’s 1994 World Cup campaign when they stunned Italy 1-0 and tied Norway 0-0 there in group play to reach the second round.
It could also be his last appearance as a player in the tri-state area after increasing hints that he is on his last legs following an injury-ravaged career.
In an interview with a British newspaper at the weekend, the midfield dynamo, who turns 32 in October, said that he may retire before the end of his current three-year contract with United.
He said that he fears a recurrence of the hip injury that sidelined him for a long spell last season after undergoing surgery.

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