The New York Red Bulls currently top the MLS Eastern Conference (2-0-0) after a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in their 2017 home opener. A bit of luck was on their side, but solid possession and good pressure on the visitors brought manager Jesse Marsch’s side all three points on the afternoon.
Luis Robles: The Ironman at the Heart of New York Red Bulls
The match was noteworthy for another reason as well. Goalkeeper Luis Robles made league history by extending his incredible streak for consecutive starts. Now standing at 142 games dating back to September of 2012. The Red Bulls’ keeper has set a new standard for reliability and durability.
Robles made his way to Red Bull Arena to add depth at the goalkeeper position after several years in Germany. The Arizona native stepped into a role that he has held a firm grasp on for season after season after injuries took their toll on incumbent Ryan Meara.
Possessing excellent vision and positioning, Robles understands where he needs to be to set himself up for optimal results. Communicative on and off the field, he is able to drive his teammates toward success as well as himself.
While others within the squad have moved on over the years, a familiar face in Luis Robles offers unique and extremely valuable areas to the New York locker room.
An Impressive Display of Toughness
One of the aspects of Robles’s amazing record is the overall grit and determination he has shown to be ready for each and every encounter. Being able to keep a streak like his going is nothing short of magnificent with the sometimes chaotic schedule that MLS provides its teams.
Robles has showcased an impressive attribute to play with pain and fight through the various challenges of the regular season. An injury last season against the Chicago Fire cast a shadow of doubt on his ability to start the following match, but New York’s goalkeeper was the first name on the team sheet.
Jesse Marsch and the entire organization understand the luxury that Luis Robles provides with his skillset week in and week out.
Allows For the High-Press to Function
Marsch’s high-press system requires midfielders and forwards to move higher up the field, leaving the back-line exposed at times.
New York is able to push the attack towards the opposition’s goal thanks to the spectacular instincts of Luis Robles.
A shot-stopper of the highest quality, Robles has been able to flourish even in difficult counter-attacking situations.
Club Transitions and Leadership
The New York Red Bulls have a history of change and turnover within a variety of areas. and this past off-season was no exception with the departure of Dax McCarty and sporting director Ali Curtis.
Luis Robles has been a stabilizing presence through it all during much of this decade. From Hans Back to Mike Petke, all the way to the current regime, he has provided strong leadership during crucial times on and off the field.
After a stellar regular season in 2016, the New York Red Bulls fell short of their MLS Cup goals. But with Luis Robles as a rock behind the team’s defense, there is certainly reason to believe that they can accomplish their objective in the current campaign.