LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena hopes designated players Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane can be persuaded to remain with the club for another season.
Gerrard and Keane, both 36, are out of contract at the StubHub Center at the end of this season following a disappointing end to the playoffs, losing on penalties against the Colorado Rapids after Tim Howard’s heroics.
A return to Liverpool in a coaching capacity as part of Jurgen Klopp’s setup could be next for Gerrard, while Keane stated last Sunday: “I’ll be playing next year, somewhere. Whether that’s here or somewhere else I’ll 100% be playing in the league.”
Both players have come in for criticism for their contributions to the team in 2016, but Arena says he is keen to keep both players on for the 2017 season.
“We were honoured to have Stevie here as well as Robbie and are hopeful they continue to be part of our club but only time will tell,” Arena told AFP in an interview.
“I haven’t spoken to those players. We need to let them have time to comment on what they want to do in their future rather than me commenting on it now.
Keane has scored 104 goals in 164 appearances for Galaxy
“The season just ended. We need a little time to reflect. I’m sure both Stevie and Robbie at the proper time will discuss their futures.
“If Sunday was his [Gerrard’s] last game, to finish the way he finished with that penalty and the 45 minutes he played after being out for close to two months, was pretty impressive.
“With Robbie Keane, there are very few players who have contributed as Robbie has. Six unbelievable years, three championships, more than 100 goals. He embraced the league. You don’t always see that from international players.”
Elsewhere, Galaxy legend Landon Donovan is yet to make a decision on his immediate future, after making a comeback for the club this season.
“The last while that I was playing before [retirement], it became more of a job than fun,” Donovan said.
“And when that line got crossed, it was hard for me. But this was enjoyable. I really had fun. I enjoyed playing. It was good to have that to help remind me of the joy that this game has always brought me.”