This Is The Los Angeles Galaxy: Daniel Keat

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJanuary 19, 2011

This is Part 7 in a list of players that will be joining the Los Angeles Galaxy this season.

New Zealand is not exactly a country that embraces association football as it does its rugby counterparts. Nonetheless, the All Whites—who played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance since Spain 1982—put on an admirable performance last year by holding the likes of Slovakia, Paraguay and Italy to 1-1, scoreless and 1-1 draws respectively.

It's a country that can hold its own in the world game, and some of its players have plied their trade in Major League Soccer, like former D.C. United standout Ryan Nelsen and current New York Red Bulls center back Andrew Boyens.

Now midfielder Daniel Keat looks to join the ranks of those En Zedders who first made a splash playing in MLS. And he gets to do it donning the blue and gold of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Daniel Keat was born on Sep. 28, 1987 in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington, the nation's capital is one of the most storied cities for football in this country. It is the home of current A-League side Wellington Phoenix FC, as well as Team Wellington of the New Zealand Football Championship.

The Westpac Stadium, known to the locals as The Cake Tin for its exterior, was where Rory Fallon etched his name in All Whites history as the man who scored the winning goal, and where goalkeeper Mark Paston showed his tenacity in the net. Their heroics on Nov. 14, 2009 helped lead the All Whites to the FIFA World Cup amid a sellout crowd of 35,194 raucous spectators.

Keat began his footballing career playing for Stokes Valley from 1994-2002, playing alongside New Zealand international Cole Peverley and future Dartmouth teammate Craig Henderson. After an eight-year stint of moving up the ranks, Keat spent two seasons with the Western Suburbs Soccer Club, based out of Porirua, a suburb of Wellington.

In 2004, Keat was offered a chance to trial with Blackburn Rovers of the Premier League. But a fractured ankle while playing for Hutt International Boys' School of Upper Hutt prevented that from taking place.

In the end, Keat stayed local, playing for Team Wellington. During his initial stint with Team Welly (he would have one more during the 2009-10 season on loan), Keat scored five goals in 28 appearances. As a result of his achievements, he was named College Sport Wellington 2005 Sportsperson of the Year while also named NZFC Youth Player of the Year.

The news from the Southern Hemisphere caught the attention of the Northern Hemisphere—or to be more precise, Dartmouth, New Hampshire—when head coach Jeff Cook of the Dartmouth Big Green men's soccer team offered Keat a chance to further his talent and potential in the midfield.

In his freshman year, Keat was named to the All-Ivy League First Team, the NSCAA All-Northeast Third Team and the College Soccer News Freshman All-America Team. He led the Big Green in scoring with 13 points, with six goals and an assist in 16 appearances. Keat was also the Ivy League Player of the Week for Oct. 9, 2006.

As a sophomore, Keat was named to the All-Ivy League Second Team. In spite of injuries, he played in 11 games, making seven starts and scoring two goals and assists apiece.

2008 would be Keat's most difficult season, as an injury forced him to redshirt. In addition, he would not be able to play in the 2008 Olympic Games in spirit of playing in the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup a year earlier.

But when Keat resumed his playing career in 2009, he came back with a vengeance.

His best season yet, Keat was named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team the NSCAA All-Northeast First Team, the All-Ivy First Team and the San Diego Nike Classic All-Tournament Team. In addition, he was named Tournament Offensive MVP at the San Diego Nike Classic, while being named Ivy League Player of the Week on Sep. 21, 2009.

Keat started all 18 matches, playing 1,623 minutes in the midfield, while leading the team in scoring with 22 points, eight goals and six assists.

2009 paved the way for a curtain call in 2010. Keat started all 19 matches he played in and finished tied for second in scoring with four goals and five assists for 13 points.

Once again, Keat was named to the NSCAA All-Northeast First Team and the All-Ivy First Team as he helped the Big Green to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to UCLA in the third round.

All that hard work would finally pay for Keat, as he was selected third overall by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2010 MLS Supplemental Draft.

Could Dan Keat be the next great Kiwi to compete in this league? Time will tell. But with the need for depth in the midfield a priority for the Galaxy coming into the 2011 MLS campaign, the possibility beckons.

From Big Green...to Big Blue and Gold...Dan Keat dreams big.


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