Robles: Disjointed Off-Season ‘Creates a Challenge’

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

The record-setting New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles has admitted that the disjointed off-season “creates a challenge” for the team heading into its first game against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the CONCACAF Champions League on Feb. 22.

“This off-season has been a bit disjointed,” said Robles after his first scrimmage with the team in Arizona. “There’s babies being born all over the place, there are some injuries and then, of course, some of us were away with the national team. That creates a challenge in and of itself.”

Robles and Sacha Kljestan were called into the January camp for the United States men’s national team, while Bradley Wright-Phillips was away after the birth of his child. This, combined with the trade of Dax McCarty, has led Coach Jesse Marsch to play a young side mostly composed of players destined for the New York Red Bulls II side this year.

“It also presents a great opportunity for some of the younger guys to show what they can do,” Robles said. “From what I’ve heard the reports have been great. Now as we get closer to this game, we do want to really reign it in and know which guys will be playing and which guys are going to be called upon.”