Robles Ties Record; Red Bulls Shutout For Fifth Time

(Luis Robles – Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire)

Red Bulls goaltender Luis Robles tied the MLS’ Iron Man record on Wednesday night in San Jose, but the Red Bulls  were shutout for the third straight game, 2-0, by the Earthquakes.

Robles has played the full 90 minutes in 112 straight games, tying Kevin Hartman for the all-time MLS record. Robles has not missed a regular season match since making his first start for the Red Bulls at the end of the 2012 season.

Robles said of playing 112 straight games, “I feel very grateful for all of it, to be able to play for such a great organization. It’s not only leaving me grateful , when I’m reflective on it, it’s a lot of people being able to contribute in order for it to happen and I just hope that we can start getting some wins.”

San Jose took the lead in the 40th minute when Fatai Alashe scored off a feed from Matias Perez Garcia at the top of the penalty area. Alashe’s shot was deflected on its way towards Robles, so that left him with little chance to grab it.

The Earthquakes went up 2-0 when Chris Wondolowski scored in the 55th minute on a header at close range after a long cross from Shea Salinas on the left wing.

The Red Bulls had their chances, as they finished with five shots and controlled play for 58 percent of the time.

With the loss, the Red Bulls fall to 1-5-0 on the season, and they have been shutout in all their defeats.

Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of the scoreless streak and the turnovers that led to San Jose’s opportunities, “Yes, it’s a combination. We can’t seem to prevent ourselves from giving away bad mistakes and making bad errors that cost us goals and we can’t seem to make a play around the goal. There are a lot of moments in there where we have control of the match and can be a little bit dangerous. If we can’t continue to do those two things it’s going to be extremely hard to get results.”

Red Bulls Homegrown signing Tyler Adams, 17 years old, made his professional debut and first career start. Adams signed with the Red Bulls in November 2015.

Marsch said of his young players, Adams, Connor Lade, and Sean Davis, “Overall it was good to get them on the field and get them a little bit of experience, especially Tyler (Adams). I actually felt like as the half went on he really got himself going but we felt like we needed to make a couple changes at the half to really inject some guys who we thought could help the game so that was the decision that got made. But Tyler has a really bright future and it’s important for him to get some of these experiences under his belt so that he can continue to progress. And Sean Davis overall was pretty good. When we play him ahead of the deeper midfielders, it’s not his natural role, but he still does a pretty good job in there.”

Adams said of his thoughts on the game and his first MLS start, “It was amazing to get the start obviously, for my first appearance and debut, but more than anything it was a great atmosphere to play in San Jose. Great facilities, but obviously, it’s unfortunate to not get the win.”

On when he found out he was starting, Adams said, “Jesse (Marsch) told me the day we left, so we left on Monday, he told me that I would be starting so I got a little nervous. But the nerves never got through after the whistle blew.”

Marsch said of being down 1-0 at the half and having the sense of taking points out of the match, “Yeah, the game was there for us; and I sound like a broken record because we’ve been in this situation with almost every game and we’ve managed to allow it to slip through our fingers. When you get in these ruts, it can feel like it’s a long period of time that you’re dealing with and there’s no one specific answer to get out of a rut when you’re in a situation like this. It just takes guys to go on the field and play brave and play with belief and I can tell the team that I have belief in them all until I’m blue in my face, but it’s up to them to believe in themselves and now we need to step on the field and see more good performances.”

Robles said of the mistakes on defense and lack of scoring, “Right now, it’s a tough combination of shooting ourselves in the foot and not being able to put the ball in the back of the net. It’s a pretty tough combination to deal with and somehow we have to find answers.”

On the Red Bulls maintaining the belief, Robles said, “Well, losing is tough, especially when you keep losing games the way that we do. So from our standpoint, belief has something to do with it, but there’s also more. There’s more than just belief and right now we just have to be honest with ourselves from the standpoint of our effort and the quality is just not what we’re capable of. It’s not good enough.”

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