Red Bulls Notebook: Robles in talks, Cooper scores in Tecos draw and more


Photo by Howard C. Smith/


Through three preseason matches, it has become quite apparent that second-round MLS SuperDraft pick Ryan Meara has taken the early lead over Jeremy Vuolo in the Red Bulls' starting goalkeeper race. Having featured for the first game against FC Dallas and going the full 90 against Estudiantes Tecos on Tuesday, the Crestwood, N.Y., native has emerged the surprising front runner in perhaps the most watched positional battle this preseason. 

However, before Meara is penned in as the starter for the season opener, there may be a new face challenging for the spot. According to MLS league website, the Red Bulls will be negotiating with one-time U.S. and current Karlsruher SC and keeper Luis Robles beginning this Friday

"We have been talking, and I'll be flying to New York on Friday," Robles said. "Nothing's for certain or guaranteed, but the opportunity is really enticing."

According to the MLS report, due to the fact that Robles is not currently in the U.S. national team player pool and was never a U.S. youth international, New York would be able to circumvent the allocation and lottery process altogether and acquire his services as a discovery signing. He was with the U.S. national team as recently as 2009, receiving his lone cap in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup during a 2-2 draw against Haiti. He was also on the U.S. roster for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup as the third goalkeeper.  

Robles, 27, is currently a backup for Karlsruher and has been used sparingly this season for the 2. Bundesliga club, making five starts. Prior to his time there, he featured regularly for FC Kaiserslautern for over three seasons.

Though not exactly the veteran keeper Backe was pining for at the start of training camp, Robles would immediately bring the most experience among keepers in New York's current pool, giving him a leg up on his younger competitors.


The Red Bulls wrapped up their three game preseason training stint in Mexico with a 1-1 draw against Estudiantes Tecos. Forward Kenny Cooper scored his second goal of the preseason with a blast from outside the box that beat goalkeeper Guadalupe Martinez in the 28th minute. 

Tecos would answered six minutes later, when forward Gabriel Pereyra picked up on a loose ball to beat Meara for the equalizer.  New York went down to 10 men in the 82nd minute after Roy Miller picked up a red card, but the club managed to hold down the fort to earn the tie and stay undefeated in preseason play (1-0-2).

New York will now travel back home before heading west to participate in this year's Diamond Desert Cup tournament. 

Here is video from Tuesday's match:


Prior to the club's trip, Hans Backe acknowledged that the team would use its Mexican training camp to evaluate Brian Nielsen’s future with the team. Apparently, the evaluation ended on the training grounds. Failing to feature in a single match, it finally looks like the Danish winger’s future with New York may be meeting an end. 

Nielsen, who was previously loaned out to New York by their sister club in Austria, is without an MLS contract. This forced the young winger to join the Red Bulls as a guest player in Cancun. With Red Bull Salzburg Director Heinz Hochhauser ruling out a return for Nielsen, the oft injured youngster may find himself without a safety net should he not make the team. 

As of now, Nielsen’s chances do not look good; his name and image were removed from the club's website as of today.


  • Juan Agudelo saw his first minutes of the preseason Tuesday, entering the game in the 75th minute for guest player Jhonny Arteaga.
  • Teemu Tainio continues to be out with a soft calf sprain, though he is expected to see minutes in Arizona.
  • Wilman Conde is training with the Red Bull staff and is expected to see competitive minutes during the Desert Cup as well.
  • Rafa Marquez has been cautiously optimistic about his chances of returning to the Mexican national team fold. His wait didn't take very long. Mexico released a list of players whom they have asked to be released for a Feb. 29 friendly against Colombia, and the Red Bulls midfielder made the cut. It is also worth noting that Marquez has spoken openly about his future plans with the Mexican national team, saying he aims to participate in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and retire from international football there after.
  • Doncaster Rovers of the English Championship have taken in former Red Bull keeper Bouna Coundoul on trial.
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43 Responses to Red Bulls Notebook: Robles in talks, Cooper scores in Tecos draw and more

  1. nato says:

    hmmm I doubt Red Bulls pay Robles more than 100 K. Maybe he could have found another 2 Bundesliga club or even a Scandinavian club interested in him.

    He’s probably our 5th best GK at the moment. I don’t see how Rimando gets call-ups when guys like Robles or Yelldell actually have experience in leagues tougher than MLS and are younger.

  2. chris says:

    Because Rimando is better

  3. louis z says:

    Rimando is making a believer out of me. His only knock is that he kind of short for being a golie but nevertheless, the guy is very good.

  4. Dillon says:

    Good luck to Bouna.

  5. Idaho Brian says:

    Because Rimando has consistently performed at a higher level. Just because you are younger and have sparingly been used in germany, (and I would argue that Bundesliga 2 is not that much tougher than MLS), does not mean that you are automatically the better keeper.

    Give Rimando some credit…he has played at a very high level for MLS and from what I have read…he has also consistently impressed at national team camps.

  6. Yeah, I said "Cracking" says:

    What a cracking strike from Cooper

  7. Idaho Brian says:

    Having said that, I would love to see Robles make the move to MLS and get some solid playing time. I would be great to see him back in the USMNT mix.

  8. Dillon says:

    Did you watch U.S. v. Panama? Rimando absolutely stood on his head. One of the best performances I have seen by an American GK in years.

  9. Tywon says:

    2 Bundesliga is tougher, your an idiot. MLS is better then many eurpean leagues except the top seven.

  10. Brain Guy says:

    RBNY have quietly had a very good off-season. They have addressed their main weakness from last season – defense – with two strong center backs. (Here’s hoping Conde can stay healthy and return to top form quickly.) They have added depth with some pretty good quality all over the field (Palsson, Cooper, Borrajo) and some good prospects. They have taken a reasoned and deliberate approach to the GK position. Henry will report in great shape and terrific form. Despite the loss of Ream and the jettisoning of Mendes, I am optimistic.

  11. Tim F. says:

    I thought Red Bull was happy with Meara and Vuolo and that is why Coundoul was not even invited back to try out?

  12. Tim F. says:

    Don’t forget re-signing Lindpere and hopefully Rodgers coming back as well!

  13. nato says:

    um what? You’re saying MLS is better than the Dutch league or the Turkish league? Stop drinking son

  14. chris says:

    Hope Angulo and Arteaga make the team

  15. malkin says:

    No mention of/update on Luke Rodgers? He’s still having visa difficulties, right?

  16. chris says:

    Turkish league blows

  17. RLW2020 says:

    what he should have said is that excelling in MLS should be valued more than making a Bundesliga2 bench.

  18. RLW2020 says:

    I hope Agudelo and Angulo form combine for many goals and confuse every broadcaster and fan watching.

  19. Tywon says:

    Didn’t I say the top seven don’t be stupid “SON”, and “YES” MLS is better then many leagues in Europe. The Turkish league is all right but not in the top seven. Also the FMF is better then half of Europe, because its in europe does not make it better.

  20. The Imperative Voice says:

    Rimando is a high quality MLS (first division) keeper who has also shown well for the US. In comparison, Robles played in the B.2 and had a nightmare against Haiti in a 2-2 tie; and Yelldell looked similarly nervous in his one US appearance, and has played most of his career for lower division sides (notably, he’s not made a league appearance for Leverkusen…he’s a clipboard carrier….and I don’t know if a Cup loss appearance to Dynamo Dresden counts as “experience”). On demonstrated US form alone, I’d favor Rimando, and personally I don’t think the Championship or B.2 is higher level than MLS. Ton of players who’ve come from Germany or the lower English ranks and struggled in MLS.

    For that matter, one can argue that Robles’ callups, like Cervi’s a ways back, were a favor done to promote a young player’s career as opposed to a pure callup on merit. Yelldell was probably called up almost as a tryout — like all these other German experiments — since he’s rarely been seen by American eyes. I don’t think either guy’s callups were on merit.

    I’m a little leery of saying “x plays in y league so he’s better” because I think some players who could make such claims like Guzan and before him Marcus H (particularly at the end) are overrated.

    Last thought, if there’s one thing the US can produce in soccer it’s GKs, so on that basis alone I’d be wary of assuming European status means superiority at that position. Howard, Guzan, and Friedel were all MLS GKs before people could claim their European superiority. I think you’ve got a new generation of American keepers like Hall, MacMath, Hamid, Johnson, and Mike Magee (joke) coming along who arguably look better than Yelldell or Robles…

  21. Yu Know says:

    Bundesliga 2 isnt that much bigger of a deal than MLS & Robles barely plays. Rimando has the ability to play in some very good leagues in Europe, much better than BL2.

  22. The Imperative Voice says:

    One could be forgiven for getting the impression that Bouna is the worst GK for NY except for every GK they’ve tried to replace him with.

    Although…..LA on the other coast seems to want to try to squeak by with Saunders in similar fashion and I’m not sold they’ll be as good, either.

    But I find it “Dallas-esque” that everyone knows NY needs a good keeper to really take off but they never really get out and sign a good one. Henry can score 20 but he can’t save them on the other end. Reminds me of the Dallas teams that kept getting ousted by Colorado in massive, defense-exposing comebacks in the playoffs, only for Dallas to return the next year with no improvement in defensive personnel, but with new attacking signings instead.

    In all fairness, my Dynamo have needed a really good forward and tablesetting #10 for years and haven’t really kicked that ball downfield either.

  23. David says:

    What about Marcus Hahnemann is overrated? Guy was a consistent starter in either the Premier League or the Championship for the better part of the last decade. Him beconing the starter for Wolves was probably the turning point in their first season in the Premier League.

  24. David says:

    Oh and I would take Rimando in a heartbeat over Robles. Rimando I think is unfairly underrated because of his size but he is a winner and a game changer at the goalie position.

  25. Dos says:

    Imperative Voice makes has the line of reasoning down and likely charges by the word.

    He is 100% right, can’t penalize Rimando on a league basi, unlike field players (where its a more pronounced factor), stopping a shot is essentially stopping a shot . . . he is shot stopper, does well to overcome the size issues in the air, and distributes very well.

  26. nato says:

    clearly you’ve been drinking and if not, perhaps you should. Turkish and Dutch league are both superior to MLS. Bundesliga 2 is on par with MLS. Maybe in 5 or 10 years, it will be miles better but come on

  27. nato says:

    good point. but I bet he makes some good dough there

  28. nato says:

    we need more American GK’s playing in Europe pronto

  29. Joamiq says:

    The name calling really adds to your argument – bravo (note the correct usage of “your”).

  30. Joamiq says:

    Bouna was not wanted because of his $$$

  31. JoeW says:

    First, Rimando is a very good keeper. You used to flail around on high balls and crosses but he plays with much more confidence. Of course he’s short but he’s a brilliant shot stopper who plays aggressively and confidently and almost always makes good decisions. One could do far worse than Rimando. It’s worth noting that when lost his job to Perkins (initially b/c of injury) and asked to be traded, first RSL (under Ellinger) and then NYRB (under Arena) had no use for him…if Scott Garlick doesn’t retire suddenly I bet Rimando would have been out of soccer.

    Second, it’s silly to rate a player on the league they play on. Does the level of competition mean that there is no-one of value MLS should ever consider from Costa Rica or Honduras or El Salvador or Jamaica? Or that every player from England will come here and be a star?

    Third, Robles is a good player. I haven’t seen him recently. He was originally drafted by DCU but never signed with the team or tried out–he signed in Germany instead.

  32. The Imperative Voice says:

    And then he became a non-starter at Reading, and a non-starter at Wolves, and clipboard carrier at Everton. Has he had a competitive start since 2010?

    I think he was a decent goalie back in the middle of the last decade but by the time he had ascended to second US keeper status I think he was losing form, overrated, and slow.

    In fairness, I think the US is better at picking 1st keepers than backups, Friedel was obvious, Keller was obvious, Howard is usually obvious…..but the past few years…..Marcus H? Guzan? Ick. I think we have enough domestic talent where it shouldn’t be a royal succession.

  33. David says:

    He was always the starter at reading. them let him go because of money. He did however lose the #1 job at Wolves. You are correct, he hasn’t played since November of 2010 and he would be overrated today if people still considered him a US option over someone actually playing but up until he lost the starting job at Wolves I would have rated him #2 on the depth chart personally.

  34. Tywon says:

    The dutch league is more technical, better I don’t know. I have been watching football for a while and I can Say that that except for the EPL,La LIGA, B1, SERIA A, LEAGUE 1, RUSSIA AND PORTUGAL, the rest of europe is on par eith the EPL. Clearly you have not been watching football long and have opinions instead of facts. The only team in Holland that is higher then MLS is AJAX. AJAX have had some very good players and I cant argue AJAX is of a higher standard.

  35. Tywon says:

    The dutch league is more technical, better I don’t know. I have been watching football for a while and I can Say that that except for the EPL,La LIGA, B1, SERIA A, LEAGUE 1, RUSSIA AND PORTUGAL, the rest of europe is on par with the EPL. Clearly you have not been watching football long and have opinions instead of facts. The only team in Holland that is higher then MLS is AJAX. AJAX have had some very good players and I cant argue AJAX is of a higher standard.

  36. Tywon says:

    The dutch league is more technical, better I don’t know. I have been watching football for a while and I can Say that that except for the EPL,La LIGA, B1, SERIA A, LEAGUE 1, RUSSIA AND PORTUGAL, the rest of europe is on par eith the mls. Clearly you have not been watching football long and have opinions instead of facts. The only team in Holland that is higher then MLS is AJAX. AJAX have had some very good players and I cant argue AJAX is of a higher standard.

  37. Won_Ton_Animal_Chin says:

    Tywon is a moron. If a person cannot determine when to use you’re vs your, or than vs then, it is obvious he is a dolt much less a soccer expert. LOL

  38. fan of football says:

    I guess I just don’t understand MLS allocation rules.

    Lee Nguyen (25yo), last Nat team involvement 2007 for U23s & Full, allocation process

    Sammy Ochoa (25yo), last Nat team involvement 2008 for U23s, allocation process

    Luis Robles (27yo), last Nat team involement 2009 for Full team, no allocation?

  39. Tywon says:

    Last time I check this is a forum and when you type you make mistakes, it happens. I have a college education. I am well educated, maybe you should be less worried about my spelling and be more worried about your writing.

  40. Jamie Z. says:

    I agree that 2.Bundesliga is a better league than MLS, but it’s very, very difficult for me to give much credence to anything someone says when it’s accompanied by the words “your an idiot.”

  41. Tywon says:

    2.Bundesliga is not a better league then MLS. I call you an idiot because for you to even think, 2.Bundesliga is better then MLS makes me ask how smart you are.

  42. abc says:

    It’s stupid, but apparently that’s how it is within the rules, some nonsense about no youth team caps. Of course it’s NY so like with Juninho and LA, that won’t stop the conspiracy theories…

  43. abc says:

    Anyone who thinks Robles or Yelldell are better than Rimando because they played in Germany are idiots. Yelldell is awful, he will never ever ever play for Leverkusen. The US called him up once, got a look, and he will never get called up again. Who can say with Robles, he is young. Meanwhile, Rimando is trusted enough to be a B team regular.