by ANTHONY J. MERCED
Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made history on Saturday breaking a Major League Soccer record with his 142nd straight start. The record was previously held by the Kansas City, Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles midfielder Chris Klein from 2005-9.
“I feel grateful for all the coaches that believed in me,” Robles said. “Hans Backe for giving me my start, Mike Petke for staying with me even when other people were saying maybe we should move on and then, of course, Jesse [Marsch]. From Day 1 he was saying that I was going to be a huge part of this organization.”
Robles joined the Red Bulls in 2012 as a third-string keeper, but was quickly thrust into the spotlight after injuries to Ryan Meara and the backup Bill Gaudette. Robles made his first start for the team and was pivotal in the team’s playoff run. From there, he has yet to waver, making every MLS start for the team.
“I was pretty emotional before the game, trying to hold it together and as soon as the game was done I couldn’t help but think about her,” Robles said, speaking about the role his wife played in the continuation of his career. “There’s a lot of people that have been a part of this 142 but she’s by far the biggest.”
Robles considered quitting before his wife encouraged him to look into playing in MLS. Before 2012, Robles languished on the bench for a couple of German clubs. Now, 142 games later, Robles is in the mix for a spot with the United States national team.