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February 14, 2013
Robles doesn't play due to a stiff back

A stiff back kept Luis Robles from playing for the Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
A stiff back kept Luis Robles from playing for the Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles did not play in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake due to a stiff back.

This being the pre-season with a 34-game Major League Soccer schedule ahead, head coach Mike Petke did not want to take any chances. He started Home Grown signing and rookie Santiago Castano instead. Castano played the entire 90 minutes in the Tucson Desert Diamond Cup match.

"Luis was my call," Petke said. "He had some stiffness in his back. No injury. Just some stiffness. I think it was from all the travel we've been doing. The field was a bit hard. You know all the typical excuses. His back was tight."

Petke said he figured if Robles could not start, the keeper should not play to avoid aggravating his back.

"My thing was if he can't start, then why risk him coming off the bench if he has to in the 70th minute after sitting on a hard bench? So I said no. So, we got a young guy from the area to back up Santi and it gave Santi some good experience."

Petke did not say whether Robles will be ready for the Red Bulls' second match of the cup, against the New England Revolution on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

Ryan Meara, who started the first 18 games last season before a hip injury sidelined him for the rest of the year, has been brought along slowly during pre-season. The Fordham University product has not play in any of the three pre-season games.
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