MLS teams in need of a quick fix at goalkeeper may have a solution within reach.
American netminder Luis Robles, who spent five seasons in the German second division, has signed an MLS contract and will be available to teams through the allocation process. If he goes unselected in the allocation process, he'll go on waivers.
Fans might recall hearing about the 28-year-old Robles back in February when he told MLSsoccer.com that he was planning on training with the Red Bulls with a view to a sealing a permanent move after it became clear he was no longer in the plans of German side Karlsruher SC.
However, although he is not a US national team pool player — he last played for the US back in 2009 — the league's rules make clear that Robles is required to go through the allocation process and cannot be claimed by just any MLS team on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Robles was drafted 50th overall by D.C. United in the 2007 SuperDraft, but refused to sign a contract with the club. Instead, he left to Germany and penned a deal with Kaiserslautern three days later.
He moved to Karlsruher SC in 2010, but over the most recent Christmas holidays, he was given the all-clear by the club to seek another move with his contract expiring this summer.
Since Robles was once on D.C. United's "College Protected List," his return to MLS requires him to go through the allocation rankings, where the New England Revolution hold the first choice.
UPDATED 2012 MLS ALLOCATION RANKINGS (as of Tues., Aug. 7, 2012)
1) New England Revolution (28 pts in 2011)
2) Toronto FC (33 pts in 2011)
3) Chivas USA (36 pts in 2011)
4) San Jose Earthquakes (38 pts in 2011)
5) D.C. United (39 pts in 2011)
6) Portland Timbers (42 pts in 2011)
7) Chicago Fire (43 pts in 2011)
8) Columbus Crew (47 pts in 2011)
9) FC Dallas (52 pts in 2011)
10) New York Red Bulls (2011 Conference semifinalist / 46 pts)
11) Vancouver Whitecaps (28 pts in 2011 / Dropped from No. 1 to No. 12 after trade with PHI on June 26, 2012)
12) Seattle Sounders (2011 Conference semifinalist / 63 pts)
13) Sporting Kansas City (2011 Conference finalist / 51 pts)
14) Real Salt Lake (2011 Conference finalist / 53 pts)
15) Houston Dynamo (2011 MLS Cup finalist / 49 pts)
16) LA Galaxy (2011 MLS Cup finalist / 67 pts)
17) Montreal Impact (2012 Expansion Team / Signed Eddie Johnson from No. 1 spot on Feb. 17, 2012)
18) Colorado Rapids (2011 Conference semifinalist / Signed Kamani Hill from No. 11 spot on March 28, 2012)
19) Philadelphia Union (Moved from No. 12 to No. 1 via trade with VAN / Signed Bakary Soumare June 26, 2012)