The end of an era
November 21, 2019
When Luis Robles was signed all the way back in 2012, we were scratching our heads. Another goalkeeper? One who flamed out of Germany's second division? Whose lone US cap came in a tie with... Haiti?
When Bradley Wright-Phillips was signed all the way back in 2013, we were scratching our heads. His father was sure great, so was his brother, but what had he done? Score a few goals in English lower divisions?
Oh, how wrong we were... and how wrong we were again. Robles and BWP depart as the best goalkeeper and the best striker in Metro history. The numbers speak for themselves: they stand one and two in appearances for Metro. 281 games, 132 wins, 89 shutouts for Robles. 240 games, 126 goals (and 36 assists to boot) for Wright-Phillips. Three shields for each.
Back when the two were signed, Metro's trophy case stood at the grand total of zero (we will obviously ignore La Manga and Emirates Cups). Robles and BWP anchored the team through the most successful stretch of its history (and it's not even close!), with three Supporters Shields to their name. No, there was no MLS Cup at the end of that rainbow, but, more than anyone, the duo changed the club from an also-ran to a contender. (As now we're slipping back to an also-ran, right, Red Bull?)
But it goes beyond the numbers and the trophies. Robles, standing between the pipes week after week, directing the defense, jumping out of the air to make the impossible save. BWP, running onto a ball in the tightest of spaces, adding a sublime touch to snap it past the goalkeeper. They were the rocks, the foundation of Metro for close to a decade. Now, both are gone on the same day.
And while the move might make sense from the sporting standpoint (father time is undefeated, after all), we can't help but be overwhelmed with sadness for the two players that made this team into a winner.
Thank you, Luis. Thank you for your leadership, thank you for the respect you showed to your teammates and fans. Thank you, Bradley. Thank you for the passion and the joy that you made us feel. Thank you both for always being your own toughest critic. Thank you for every minute of every game.
An era is over.