September 29, 2012
AN ENCOURAGING DEBUT
Robles acquits himself well in goal as a Red Bull
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Goalkeeper Luis Robles on Ryan Johnson's goal: “My first action I think was picking the ball out of the net, just an unbelievable strike from Ryan Johnson. I think I’ll see myself on SportsCenter after that, picking the ball out of the net.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. – Filling in for an injured Bill Gaudette, goalkeeper Luis Robles did nothing wrong in his first taste of MLS, doing his fair share in the Red Bulls 4-1 home win over Toronto F.C. on Saturday night.
Acquired on Aug. 8 via the MLS allocation Process, Robles enters a New York side with depth at goalkeeper and he only been involved in a handful of reserve matches and of course getting daily action in training. But his MLS debut was a special moment for the 28-year old, who was once-capped by the national team.
“It felt fantastic to be on the field, even more so that the team won,” Robles said.
His MLS debut got off to the rockiest of starts, with a Quincy Amarikwa shot clanging off his far post just 40 seconds into the match. Moments later, it would get worse. Collecting a ball from Reggie Lambe, in the 2nd minute Toronto’s Ryan Johnson fired a knuckling shot from 35 yards out into the upper corner of the goal, past a diving Robles for a spectacular goal.
Coach Hans Backe called it a “tough start for Luis.”
“My first action I think was picking the ball out of the net, just an unbelievable strike from Ryan Johnson,” Robles said. “I think I’ll see myself on SportsCenter after that, picking the ball out of the net.”
Then in the 27th minute, Robles reacted slowly to a back pass from Wilman Conde and his clearing kick deflected slightly off the shin of a Toronto forward. But that might be quibbling for Robles, who was solid in the match.
When called upon in the 49th minute, Robles stood tall and handled well a shot from Toronto midfielder Terry Dunfield. Then again in the 87th minute, Robles was in the right place to easily handle another distance shot from Dunfield and again in stoppage time he easily smothered a shot from outside the box by Richard Eckersley.
There was a seamless transition from the usually steady Gaudette in goal to Robles and that included the communication in front of an announced sell-out at Red Bull Arena.
“The guys did well backtracking. It’s always tough, it’s like a two-edged sword – you want to have a crowd like tonight because it’s fantastic and the stadium is really loud but it makes it difficult to communicate back there but we did well,” Robles said. “After that first goal, I didn’t have much to do.”