It’s the first matchday trip to South Florida for the New York Red Bulls in almost two decades as they face the expansion side Inter Miami tonight. This one will be special on two fronts, as the club will also see their former starting goalkeeper and captain Luis Robles,
“A true gentleman of the game. He’s a competitor, he’s a winner. At the MLS is Back Tournament, we were crossing paths along the hallways and the lobbies. Their meal room was right next to ours.” said Bradley Carnell, “We always had a short exchange and said a quick hi.
“There’s always been a mutual respect between Luis and myself, and the whole rest of the team, it would be great to catch up with him and those who knew him, but it’s going to be after the game.”
For the previous eight seasons, Robles defended the Red Bulls net for 238 games and over 21,000 minutes with 114 wins, 71 losses & 53 draws. He allowed 308 goals with 72 clean sheets and captained the squad for the last two seasons.
But this isn’t the only matchup these two sides have going for them as this one will also be a family affair, as the Nealis brothers from Massapequa, Long Island, will face each other for the very first time. Sean is in his second season with the Red Bulls, while younger brother Dylan is in his rookie season with Miami.
We could have a fun moment at the Nealis household to see which son the parents and other siblings could be rooting for this Wednesday evening.
“This is the first time me and my brother are going against each other competitively , we were on the same team in high school, but during practice we would be against each other.” said Neails, “At home we would be competitive against each other either the backyard or on our driveway it was competitive.
“Someone would come off for injury. My parents will probably pick him over me, because he is the baby, but we will see what happens, I might have to send him a little bit of a message when we are on the field together.”
As for injuries Ryan Meara is still on the mend and will not be available for the match as he is still out with a hip flexor. That means David Jensen will get the start again and, even though he did play well in the loss against FC Cincinnati, it was tough for him and his teammates to concede the olimpico goal to Haris Medunjanin late in the second half.
But in this game, Jensen will be ready to go as he will take on top talented footballers like Blaise Matuidi and Rodolfo Pizarro that will be challenging against the Red Bulls
“They have so many good players, quality players. Players that can create something out of nothing. We really have to be aware of what’s coming at us.” said Jensen, “Their offense is very dangerous, but they are a new club, they haven’t gotten the results that thy are looking for.
“We have to build on that of course, and we have to set the tone for the game on Wednesday. We are two teams that are looking to play football, that’s always fun to watch, so it’s going to be very interesting to see what will happen in that match.”