Long named as Defender of the Year finalist, while Robles placed as a finalist for Goalkeeper and Humanitarian of the Year
HARRISON, N.J. (October 31, 2018) – New York Red Bulls defensive standouts Aaron Long and Luis Robles were named as finalists for 2018 MLS End of Year Awards, the league announced today. Robles, the 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year recipient, aims to become the fifth goalkeeper in league history to earn the award twice, while Long looks for his first Defender of the Year Award after a breakout season that included MLS All-Star and U.S. Men’s National Team selections.
Robles, 34, is having a career-best between the posts in his sixth full season with New York. The Fort Huachuca, Arizona, native leads the league goals-against average (0.97), clean sheets (14) and wins (21). All three marks are career highs for Robles. He will go up against Seattle Sounders FC’s Stefan Frei and Columbus Crew SC’s Zack Steffen for best goalkeeper in MLS.
Long is one of three finalists for MLS’ Defender of the Year. The Oak Hills, California, native has contributed both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as a defender for the Red Bulls, tallying a career-best three goals and two assists, while anchoring a Red Bulls backline to a league-best 15 clean sheets. Long ranks in the top 20 league-wide in five defensive categories, including fourth in aerials won (101), fifth in clearances (146), eighth in duels won (176), tied for eighth in blocks (24) and 16th in interceptions (16). He is pitted against Seattle Sounders FC’s Chad Marshall and Atlanta United’s Michael Parkhurst.
Robles has also been placed as a finalist for MLS WORKS’ Humanitarian of the Year Award. He has been a finalist for the award the previous two seasons and is joined by Minnesota United FC’s Matt Lampson and Columbus Crew SC’s Wil Trapp.
Robles is in his third year serving as the spokesman for the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign. Robles and his wife, Cara, hosted a second-annual fundraising dinner and silent auction, with 100 percent of money raised going directly to research to end childhood cancer. The end of Robles’ 183-game iron-man streak was honored by Robles and the Red Bulls donating $18,300 to a family currently undergoing pediatric cancer patients. The Red Bulls and Tackle Kids Cancer also teamed up to wear custom cleats, designed by players and pediatric cancer patients, for the September home match against Toronto FC.
Robles makes monthly visits to children's hospitals on his own time, and volunteers at soccer clinics for underprivileged children, leads the team in community relations efforts on behalf of the Red Bulls, and assists with clinics in his hometown.
With a first round bye, New York will wait for their semifinal matchup after the Knockout Round. The Red Bulls Eastern Conference Semifinals Leg One and Leg Two are set for Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 with New York hosting the second leg of the series.