Captain of NY Red Bulls Helps Combat Pediatric Cancer
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with the Captain and Goalkeeper of the NY Red Bulls, Luis Robles, to discuss inspiring kids both on and off the soccer field and his role in raising awareness for pediatric cancer research.
"Luis Robles, who is captain and goalkeeper of the great New York Red Bulls. How you doing? I'm great. Thanks for having me. Growing up as a kid, was soccer your thing? No. No it wasn't actually. What was? Baseball. So my dad comes from Puerto Rico. He was drafted into the military, back way in the day, during the Korean conflict, and so eventually, much much further down the road, when he had me and my brother, he put a lot of baseball in our life. Whether it was the Yankees or the Mets, he just grew up with that, and that was his thing. And up until about 11 or 12 years old, that was my thing. So soccer comes into your life, you get the bug, you're good at it, but the goalkeeping position, explain to people... we'll get into a whole range of other partnerships and collaborations that Luis and the Red Bulls are involved in, but I'm curious. Goalkeeper versus the rest of the folks on the team? Well I smile, because you said, "I get the bug and I'm good at it" and that's totally not the case. I wasn't... Not? I wasn't good at all. Stop it! No. So my story starts with me getting cut. 11 years old, I try out for a soccer team, and the only reason I try out for this travel team is because my best friend, Sean, was trying out for the team. Now he was very good. He was one of the best players on the team. And yet, after the first day, they said, "Thanks for coming out, but don't worry about coming out tomorrow." Right? To you? Yeah. To me. And so what ended up transpiring is a couple weeks later, their goalkeeper is not sure if they want to do it full-time, and Sean suggests my name, and the call coach... the coach calls me up and asks, "Hey, if you're willing to play goalie, and just goalie..." [laughter] Right? "...you can be on the team." And for me, it just seemed like an opportunity to be able to hang out with Sean more often. And so that's when I caught the bug. Standing in goal, defending shots, that challenge of standing there and trying to defend the goal was something that really spoke to me. And at that point on, it would just become a passion and an obsession. And slowly, I became better and better and better, but as I look back on my career, there were so many opportunities that came out of nothing, that I sort of seized, but it wasn't purely because of talent. I gotta tell you, you just..."