NEW YORK - A sports agency is demanding at least $385,000 from Major League Soccer and the Los Angeles Galaxy club for helping with last year's signing of Ireland captain Robbie Keane, a lawsuit filed on Friday said.
The complaint in Manhattan federal court by Real Time International Ltd (RTI) said that without its knowledge "LA Galaxy and the MLS exploited information" provided by the agency "without compensation" to complete the deal.
Keane was signed by Galaxy from English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in August 2011 for a $5.7 million transfer fee and MLS and Galaxy "improperly deprived RTI of a fee of at least $385,000," the complaint said. RTI said it sought the customary payment of a percentage of the transfer fee, but Galaxy refused.
A spokesman for Major League Soccer declined to comment on the lawsuit. A representative for Los Angeles Galaxy could not immediately be reached to comment.
The lawsuit said that over a year ago, a senior member of the Los Angeles Galaxy club contacted RTI to solicit help in identifying a player the club could acquire within a 10 day period. Once RTI identified Keane, the club began direct negotiations with London-based Tottenham, the lawsuit said.
Keane is the captain of Ireland and he went on to help Los Angeles Galaxy become Major League Soccer champions in 2011. The team's other stars include former Manchester United and England international David Beckham and American Landon Donovan.
Last Friday, Keane scored his 54th goal in 121 appearances for Ireland, netting from the penalty spot in a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The case is Real Time International (Agency) Ltd v Major League Soccer and Los Angeles Galaxy in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 12-6986 (Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Frank Pingue)