Robles Nearly Retired After RBNY Run

Former captain of the New York Red Bulls spent eight years with the team and nearly called it a career after his contract expired at the end of the 2019 season. The American goalkeeper was team’s iron man, playing in 183 consecutive games before succumbing to an injury. Along the way he was a part of three Supporters Shield winning teams in 2013, 2015 and 2018.

“That wasn’t easy to deal with,” said Robles to BSI the Podcast.” Mourning your career in a sense, knowing that it might be done and yet, as we’re getting closer to the end, some strange stuff is happening and you’re sort of putting the dots together. You’re like: ‘Wait, hold on a sec. This might not play out the way I thought it would.'”

Robles joined New York in 2012 as a third string goalkeeper following an unsuccessful attempt in Germany. With little guarantee of getting minutes, the then 28-year-old, was looking for options outside of football when fate would intervene. Injuries to rookie Ryan Meara and back-up Bill Gaudette opened the door for Robles during a key time of the season, the playoffs. Robles grabbed the opportunity and never looked back.

The trajectory was all up from there, culminating in being named the captain of the club in 2019. However, like the last few players that dawn the captain’s armband, it was a sentence that spelled the end of his time with the Red Bulls.

“I didn’t know what to expect in free agency,” said Robles. “The amount of teams that called made me realize that, you know what, I think I need to keep playing. I didn’t know what sort of demand was going to be out there for a 36-year-old goalkeeper and I didn’t what sort of challenges would be out there.”

Robles finally decided to return with the expansion club Inter Miami and was quickly named the team’s captain. Despite years of service to the Red Bulls, it was another reminder that the team’s value of players is unique in how it views it’s priorities. At times it feels cold to see players like Robles, Bradley Wright-Phillips or Dax McCarty move on and continue productivity elsewhere. However New York has a vision to deliver a certain brand of football which, at this point, has yet to materialize into success in the trophy room.

For Robles the story continues. Miami has assembled a dynamic, yet incomplete, team for their inaugural season but being an experienced MLS captain, it is a new challenge in a high-profile market. Whether Robles could have achieved the ultimate goal with the Red Bulls will never be known. However, the player has rebounded and found himself in a place where he is still needed.

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