As the 2019 season neared its end, then-New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles considered retiring after eight years and 238 regular-season matches with the club.
Robles, who signed with expansion side Inter Miami CF as a free agent last December, opened up about what he weighed with family and friends during a recent episode of BSI: The Podcast.
“I just don’t think I can talk about all of it,” Robles, Miami's captain, said. “It sounds sort of trite to say that, but, bro, there were so many conversations going on behind the scenes and all I can say is there was real consideration to retiring. Part of the retiring had to do with what was next in my life.
“That wasn’t easy to deal with, mourning your career in a sense, knowing that it might be done and, yet, as we’re getting closer to the end, some strange stuff is happening and you’re sort of putting the dots together. You’re like, ‘Wait, hold on a sec. This might not play out the way I thought it would.’ And since I’d already gone through the mental exercise of sort of the exit, I think it put me in a good place to actually exit.”
Robles said he entertained pursuing a front-office role with the Red Bulls, where he’d learn different departments of how the club is run. He then had a conversation with a close friend one day before free agency opened, and his whole perspective changed.
“The big part is I didn’t know what to expect in free agency, and the amount of teams that called made me realize that, you know what, I think I need to keep playing,” Robles said. “I didn’t know what sort of demand was going to be out there for a 36-year-old goalkeeper, and I didn’t know what sort of challenges would be out there.
“I think on the first day 12 teams called. All of a sudden, I thought, ‘I don’t think it’s time for it to end. I could always go and do that later.’ But I want to see what the next chapter looks like while I’m still playing soccer.”
For more from Robles on his flirtation with retirement, free-agency process and more, check out the entire BSI: The Podcast episode here.