Remember how the New York Red Bulls were all set to sign Luis Robles via discovery claim? Remember how we pointed out that it seemed a little odd that the once-capped United States national team goalkeeper was eligible to be signed via discovery? Well, it turns out MLS agreed. Now Robles has apparently decided to remain in Germany, rather that subject himself to some kind of allocation process.
Apparently, Robles' one cap in 2009 subjects him to #MLS allocation. Was supposed to arrive in NY Friday. Plans cancelled.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 16, 2012
If precedent tells us anything, it was that Robles probably should have gone through either the Allocation Order or through a weighted lottery. The two most applicable recent comparisons were Sammy Ochoa, who played six times for various U.S. youth teams but never suited up for the senior team, and Lee Nguyen, who earned three caps with the U.S. back in 2007. The Seattle Sounders had to trade up in the allocation order to grab Ochoa and the Vancouver Whitecaps won a weighted lottery to get Nguyen.
While it appears MLS ultimately made a decision based on precedent, it's understandable that fans of the Red Bulls might feel a bit slighted. One has to wonder if the Red Bulls assumed Robles didn't have to go through allocation and were the ones spreading bad information, or whether someone at MLS headquarters simply realized the error of their ways once word got out.
For more on the situation, head over to Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.