Forward Madison has signed veteran striker Jake Keegan, adding much-needed firepower to its 2021 attack. Keegan, 29, scored 14 goals across the past two seasons for the Greenville Triumph, helping the team to a USL League One title last year.
While the Flamingos have historically been solid defensively, Keegan will be tasked with improving the team’s output in front of goal.
“I think having expectations is good,” Keegan said. “If you come into a place and no one expects anything from you, it’s a lot harder to have success. It’s an exciting time for the club because we have a chance to re-create the on-field culture, and I hope I’m a big part of that.”
New head coach Carl Craig, who has made it clear that he intends to implement an attacking style of play, said Keegan will be a crucial part of delivering more goals to the Forward fans.
“When I first came to Madison, Jake’s name was up there in bright lights on the list of players who we wanted to sign,” Craig said. “Jake has outstanding character, is well traveled and brings a level of maturity and experience to us that’s invaluable. I’m really pleased to have him on board.”
Keegan, who grew up in New York and starred at Binghamton University, originally earned his reputation overseas. After helping Galway United win promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division in 2014, Keegan became one of the leading scorers in the Irish top flight by scoring 12 goals, enough for third in the competition. Keegan returned to North America in 2016, guiding FC Edmonton to a playoff berth in the North American Soccer League.
Keegan later went back to the Irish Premier Division in 2018, playing with St. Patrick’s Athletic for one season before signing on with the Triumph. Keegan featured in the away lineup during Forward Madison’s first ever home game, an experience which he said influenced his decision to come to the Flamingos.
“When we played here in 2019 it was awesome,” Keegan said. “I thought it was the best atmosphere in the league in terms of the supporters’ group, the gameday atmosphere and all of that. The last piece to come into play now is to get the on-field side of it to the top of the table.”