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Novmeber 8, 2012
Robles just might get the call to return in 2013 after his playoff performance

By Kristian R. Dyer Contributing Editor

HARRISON, N.J. – The Joe Willis penalty kick save in the 73rd minute may get all the attention but for Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, it was another impressive effort in the Red Bulls' 1-0 loss in the second leg of the Eastern Conference. In fact, it might be enough to see him return to Red Bull Arena next year after a strong debut in Major League Soccer.

It was Robles, of course, who made the crucial first half penalty kick save in RFK Stadium last Saturday night on a Chris Pontius try, a moment that was instrumental in their 1-1 tie, He followed up that performance on Thursday night in the Red Bulls' losing effort, keeping his side in the match during a rather even first half. Another strong performance for Robles might have solidified his spot atop the starting goalkeeper position heading into the off-season.

A league source told that the Red Bulls hold an option on Robles’ contract for next season. It is a team option.

“Looking back at the last six games, there’s definitely a lot of things that went my way – that I’m pleased with,” Robles said. “If anything, this was a tough one. I look back at some of the things I did well and some of the things I did not so well and during the offseason do my best to improve and see what happens.”

From the start of the game, Robles had to be alert.

In the fourth minute in the game’s first real true opportunity, Robles responded well. Sprung in behind the Red Bulls backline, Nick DeLeon sent in a ball across the face of goal where Lionard Pajoy tried an audacious back heel. Robles sprawled to save the shot and then pounced on the rebound, nullifying what would have been a dream start for the visitors.

Then in the 20th minute, Branko Boskovic sent DeLeon in alone on goal but Robles more than capably charged out to deny the opportunity. And even in the game’s winning goal when Robbie Russell played in DeLeon in alone on goal, Robles was hung out to dry by an overextended backline. The decisive goal of the series left Robles helpless.

“They just played it well, on the counter they played across and got Heath [Pearce] to commit and DeLeon’s on the back post and they did a great job finishing because there’s a lot of pressure in the [88th ] minute,” Robles said. “Very clinical.”

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