It’s always a sad time for a player who is a fan favorite to know when their time is about to end for the club he has played many years for, at the same time the bond that certain players had with the fans has been very special as well.
But when the day it was announced that Luis Robles option year was revoked, the fans knew that a transition at the starting goalkeeper position would be made as this will be Ryan Meara’s turn to begin.
So when the news was made that Robles was signed by MLS Expansion side Inter Miami for the 2020 season, there was only one thing to do from the former Captain of the Red Bulls to prepare for, as he was ready to make the transition to South Florida.
Robles decided to hold an event where he wanted to thank every fan who supported him through the eight years he defended the net for them. On an overcast Saturday afternoon at Sal Lauretta’s Men’s clothing store in Midland Park on January 4th, Robles held a four-hour event, to chat, shake hands, hug, sign autographs and take pictures with everyone who came over.
His family was with him as his children were already wearing black t-shirts with the huge Inter Miami shield on the front, signifying the change of clubs had become official. But no one cared what was being worn by his family, all they cared about was seeing a man who gave them glory and huge saves every match to earn the full three points.
The small men’s clothing store was consistently full of fans, as they made a huge circle to get to Robles and have their time spent with him to discuss the good days, the move to South Florida, give him advice on special places to attend events and where to dine with his family.
So many casual fans, season ticket holders, families, members of the three supporters groups that represent the South Ward, came over to wish him well and happy to see him in person for the final time before his pre-season begins with the new club.
“It’s a great experience as the event went very well. For more than anything it has given me some closure because over the years it’s not just the amount of games I played, or how many times I won or how successful the team has had” said Robles “It’s so many relationships I have formed over the years and to be able to see all these people who have supportive and encouraging and to be friends, it was nice to see them all.
”To have all three groups representing the South Ward today sharing their experiences, their memories, their tears, it was a very wonderful afternoon for me to have that moment. I only hope when the fans think of me it’s not just the performances I gave our there, but the just the type of person I was for this club and as a person.”
Well, it was a special time for me to cover Luis Robles as I wanted to give him my good wishes for his new venture down in South Florida for his new club in Inter Miami. You hope he will have success and good fortune as he moves on in his career.
Sal Lauretta for Men is located at 621 Godwin Ave., Midland Park, New Jersey.