After trading Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City in early January, the Red Bulls needed to pick a new player to wear the captain’s armband during the 2018 season. And for 2018 that man will be Luis Robles
On Wednesday afternoon, with just over 24 hours separating the Red Bulls from their first competitive action of the year, the team announced that longtime goalkeeper and MLS Ironman Luis Robles would be the 12th captain in team history.
Signed in 2012 after five years in Germany via the MLS allocation process , Robles took over the starting goalkeeper job from Bill Gaudette and Ryan Meara late in the season and has not missed a minute of MLS action since. He has since broken every major goalkeeping and longevity record, while earning an MLS Best XI honors in 2015 and two more caps for the USMNT.
“For the last five and a half years, I have been given a great privilege to represent this organization and its supporters on the field,” said Robles. “With this new duty, as Captain, I understand that I have been entrusted with an even greater responsibility to be at my best, to empower my teammates to be the best they can be, while leading the way to our shared goals of an MLS Cup and success at the highest levels.”
The Red Bulls have traded six of the previous 11 captains in team history (Kljestan, Dax McCarty, Peter Vermes, Eddie Pope, Amado Guevara and Tony Meola), leading many fans and pundits alike to immediately speculate that 2018 will be Robles’ final year with the team.
But let’s all hope that when we get to the end of the 2018 season that Robles will remain wearing the Captain’s arm band and leading the club to victory and hopefully adding some more silverware in the trophy case that currently has two Supporter Shields.
List of Metro/RBNY Captains.
1996: Peter Vermes
1997 - 98: Tony Meola
1999 - 2002: Tab Ramos
2003 - 04: Eddie Pope
2005: Youri Djorkaeff/Amado Guevara
2006: Youri Djorkaeff/Amado Guevara/Tony Meola
2007: Claudio Reyna
2008: Claudio Reyna/Juan Pablo Angel
2009 - 10: Juan Pablo Angel
2011 - 14: Thierry Henry
2015 - 16: Dax McCarty
2017: Sacha Kljestan
2018: Luis Robles