Five years ago, Luis Robles was a forgotten journeyman 'keeper in the midst of a succession of failed efforts to land a job in MLS that would leave him contemplating retirement from pro soccer. This Saturday, if Robles starts for the New York Red Bulls - as he has done in every league game the team has played since September 29, 2012 - he will become the MLS measure of durability and consistency. Again.
Already dubbed the MLS Ironman for his all-time record for consecutive starts and 90-minute games played, Robles will break the league's record for consecutive regular-season appearances if he plays in RBNY's 2017 MLS home-opener against the Colorado Rapids. Playing in that game (and we have no reason to believe he won't, at the moment) would be Robles' 142nd consecutive regular-season appearance for RBNY. He would break the MLS consecutive appearances record he currently shares with former Kansas City Wizards/LA Galaxy/USMNT midfielder Chris Klein.
It would also be Robles' 166th appearance for RBNY, which would tie him with Carlos Mendes for 5th on the club's all-time, all-competitions appearances list, and put him only 1 appearance behind John Wolyniec for 4th. A full 90 minutes would make Robles just the third player in club history to log 15,000 minutes for the first team in all competitions.
Robles joined the Red Bulls in August 2012. He was the fourth 'keeper signed and third to start for RBNY that season, taking over the starting job at the end of September from an injured Bill Gaudette, who had landed the job himself after injury to Ryan Meara. Robles hasn't stopped starting since.
In his first full season with the team, he played every minute en route to the team's first ever domestic silverware: the 2013 MLS Supporters' Shield.
In 2014, Robles made an epic save against Seattle which earned him MLS Save of the Year honors.
In 2015, Robles had one of his finer years as a pro, earning MLS Best XI honors and Goalkeeper of the Year as the team won the Supporters' Shield for the second time in three years.
In 2016, Robles became the All-Time MLS Ironman, for playing the most consecutive minutes in MLS history - a mark he extends with every league game he plays.
Despite recording the most shutouts in MLS last season, Robles fell just short of winning Goalkeeper of the Year for his second year in a row.
Nevertheless, Saturday will be a historic day for Robles, and fans will never forget his durability and commitment to the team.