Former New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles had a feeling that the club wanted to part ways with him since the middle of last season.
It’s Oct. 20, 2019… in the middle of New York Red Bulls’ Eastern Conference quarterfinal match versus Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
The score is 3-3 in the 94th minute. An unmarked Fafà Picault controlled the ball in the Red Bulls’ box then fired a shot toward the near post.
Picault is right on top of the six-yard box and his shot is a powerful one. Surely, the ball is on its way in the net. The Union players warming up outside the pitch are already running to celebrate. 4-3, Philadelphia.
But no, RBNY keeper Luis Robles dives on his right quicker than a cat thrown in the water and gets a hand on the ball.
The Philadelphia players warming up jump in disbelief some with their hands over their heads.
New York’s beloved captain did it again. He kept his side in the game with an unreal save (until Philly’s eventual winner at least). Robles saved that shot for a team that was hinting they no longer wanted to use his services anymore.
“Because of the nature of business, there’s always a chance that they’d [RBNY] come to me and say ‘Aye, we’re looking to transition’ and I have to be okay with that,” the new Inter Miami CF keeper said in an interview with The Seeing Red Podcast on Saturday.
“There were certain moments that occurred this season, some internal dialogues that for me at least the writing was on the wall.”
After the season, RBNY head coach Chris Armas and sporting director Denis Hamlett made it clear to Robles that he wasn’t part of their plan next year.
Robles asked them not to renew his contract so he could start the process of looking for another team as soon as possible.
“I simply just brought it up and said ‘Aye, about we just end it? You guys would do me a solid by giving me the maximum amount of time to pursue another team through free agency,'” the 35-year-old said.
New York parted ways with the Arizona native on Nov. 21, 2019. Robles spent eight seasons with RBNY, winning three Supporters’ Shields. He’s the club’s all-time leader in appearances and saves.
The University of Portland product ended his career at the Red Bull Arena with a solid season. Several teams were interested in him after it was announced that RBNY didn’t renew his contract.
Robles picked Miami and will face the Red Bulls with them on March 21 at home.