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 By Kevin Palmer

Keane: MLS schedule must avoid heat

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane has spoken out once again about the timing of his side's MLS game in Chicago last weekend, as the debate continued over the decision to play the match in 90-degree heat with a 3 p.m. kick-off.

Keane was caught on camera offering a less-than-complimentary view of the scheduling of the fixture and he elaborated on that view when he spoke to reporters in New York on Thursday.

"The point we made was it was a lot better playing at 8 p.m. than it is a 3 p.m. in the afternoon on the hottest day in Chicago," said Keane, who was speaking ahead of the Republic of Ireland's game against Costa Rica in Philadelphia on Friday.

"I wasn't too happy about it because I think if this league wants to progress and wants to move forward, they certainly have to listen to other people.

"One of our players felt dizzy during the match and nearly fainted because of the heat and had to be taken off. One of these days something seriously bad is going to happen.

"Hopefully we can do something before it happens. It simply does not make sense to have a game at 3 p.m. when it could be easily played at 8 p.m."

Meanwhile, Keane has insisted he is still ready to carry the goal burden for his country at international level, even though he is now plying trade in America and will celebrate his 34th birthday next month.

Keane, who will miss the Galaxy's game against rivals Chivas USA on Sunday, has scored a hugely impressive 63 goals at international level and Ireland have struggled to find the back of the net in recent games when he has been absent, highlighting his continued importance to their side with Euro 2016 qualifiers looming later this year.

"I have had similar pressure with Ireland since I was 17, so that will never change," said Keane. "I'm going to put pressure on myself more than probably you guys do.

"My job is to score goals and listen, it doesn't matter if I score goals or if it's Longy [Shane Long] or Wes [Hoolahan] or whoever it is among the other strikers, the important thing is winning games and certainly if we can score more goals than the opposition, then we have a good chance.

"We've got strikers in the squad who are quite capable of scoring. I know there's been talk about that, but as long as players are getting the opportunities, that's always good. Of course, at the end you want to finish them and if I can help to contribute towards that, then great."

Ireland will also play Portugal in in the U.S. next Tuesday, as coach Martin O'Neill looks to find tune his squad before bigger battles that lie ahead.

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