Luis Robles Speech

Fútbol Focus: Luis Robles

Inter Miami captain Luis Robles has starred in goal throughout a lengthy career, beginning in his youth in Arizona. Despite obstacles such as his physical stature, Robles has succeeded in becoming a legendary MLS goalkeeper thanks to his perseverance and dedication. 

Robles, a Fort Huachuca, Arizona native, began his career in the Tuscon Soccer Academy, taking a chance on the sport after previously focusing his efforts on baseball. After dedicating himself to soccer, he was named the 2001 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school junior. He later attended the University of Portland, where he continued to build his reputation as an athletic shot stopper.

Robles played for the University of Portland Pilots for four seasons. In his redshirt freshman season, he started all 20 games for the Pilots, showcasing the stability that would later become a hallmark of his career. He went on to set a school-record for saves at Portland with 346 recorded. 

Though he was drafted in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, the American keeper decided to bypass the opportunity to play with D.C. United and sought a new challenge in Germany. Robles signed for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in January 2007. At the time, the team played in the 2. Bundesliga, the second division in the German soccer landscape. He made his debut for the first team over a year later, eventually taking over as the starter for 20 games in the 2008-2009 season and registering seven clean sheets.

His performances over this period were enough to get him noticed by the U.S. Men’s National Team set-up, earning a call into the squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup, though he did not make an appearance in that tournament. At the 2009 gold Cup, however, Robles made his international debut, playing the 90 minutes in a group stage match against Haiti.

Robles was part of the Kaiserslautern team that won the 2. Bundesliga title and achieved promotion to the Bundesliga, marking the first trophy in his professional career.

Robles then joined 2. Bundesliga side Karlsruher SC, where he appeared in 28 league matches over two seasons before embarking on the next, and most notable, chapter of his career - one that almost never came to fruition.

In 2012, Robles returned to the United States, signing with the New York Red Bulls. Just prior to joining the club, however, Robles had taken a job as a realtor, nearly putting aside his career as a goalkeeper. What proceeded this decision was a long and healthy career as one of the premier shot stoppers in North America. 

Robles debuted for the Red Bulls in a September 2012 match against Toronto FC, kickstarting a run of 183 consecutive MLS regular season starts, an ironman record for the league.

He continued to thrive in New York, guiding the team to the playoffs in every season he played for the club from 2012 to 2019. He helped guide them to a Supporters’ Shield title in 2013, 2015 and 2018, and started 23 total playoff games with the Red Bulls. He also earned 2015 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors and set two club records in 2018: most clean sheets in a season (14) and most goalkeeper wins in a season (21). 

Robles departed from New York following the 2019 season, choosing to sign with Inter Miami as a free agent in December 2019. He quickly integrated himself in South Florida, earning the honor of being named the first team captain in Club history on February 25, 2020. He was handed the captain’s armband by co-owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas, cementing his place as a leader.

At 36 years old Robles shows no signs of slowing down. With the South Florida club, Robles has yet another opportunity to prove his ability to overcome any obstacles.