Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
One-time U.S. national team goalkeeper Luis Robles won't be manning the nets at Red Bull Arena after all.
Robles' proposed move to the New York Red Bulls has been called off after the league ruled that Robles would have to go through the allocation order after initially claiming he could be added as a discovery signing, according to the Washington Post.
Robles was supposed to arrive in New York on Friday to hammer out a deal with the Red Bulls, but those plans have reportedly been cancelled in light of the new ruling.
The fact that the 27-year-old Robles, currently a backup at 2. Bundesliga side Karlsruher SC, could be deemed a discovery signing did not make much sense to begin with. The allocation order process is used to disperse U.S. national team players or former MLS players who went abroad for a transfer fee who return to sign with the league (the league just released its rules for the 2012 season, which can be found here, and the language on the allocation order is pretty clear).
Although Robles has not factored into the U.S. set-up for two-and-a-half years, he was on the 2009 U.S. FIFA Confederations Cup roster and earned his only cap in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. At first, MLS ruled that since Robles was no longer part of the U.S. player pool, the allocation order did not apply to him before ultimately changing course. Sometimes players go years between national team appearances. The fact that Robles had already been established as a national team player should have eliminated any gray area.
The most recent player to go through the allocation order, Seattle Sounders forward Sammy Ochoa, was last a U.S. youth international in 2008 and has never appeared for the senior team. For him to have been deemed allocation-worthy and for Robles to have been able to circumvent the system would not have been consistent.
Other players who went through the allocation order last season were Jay DeMerit, Kenny Cooper, Charlie Davies, Benny Feilhaber and Freddy Adu. After signing with MLS on Thursday, Eddie Johnson will be distributed through the allocation order on Friday.
The only way for U.S. youth internationals — something that does not pertain to Robles — to get around the allocation order is if they had previoulsy been offered a contract by the league but did not sign before the MLS SuperDraft or if they signed a Generation adidas deal after the SuperDraft. In those cases, they would go through a weighted lottery. Lee Nguyen, Soony Saad and David Bingham are recent examples of that.
An exception to that is recent Portland Timbers signing Charles Renken, who was able to circumvent the allocation order after the league's other 18 teams all claimed to have no interest in signing the U.S. Under-20 midfielder. Portland had offered to use its allocation order spot on Renken, but the league deemed him to be a "waiver" signing instead.
With Robles no longer in play, rookie Ryan Meara and Jeremy Vuolo remain the Red Bulls' lone goalkeepers. Should Robles eventually choose to sign with MLS and go through the allocation process, he could still wind up in New York, which holds the 12th spot in the current order.
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