GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Congratulation to your success with the team! Your team, the 1.FC Kaiserslautern still has the chance to be promoted to the Bundesliga. What are the reasons for the team’s success this year? I ask, because you didn’t finish last season, too well?
Luis Robles: We have a very good team spirit. Everybody gets along with each other and we have a lot of fun. The coach is also a very important. But I give also a lot of credit to Stefan Kunz, our Manager. The coach and Stefan Kunz did a really good job during the summer. The Manager brought in the right player and the right sponsor. It is a very good combination.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: You also did a good job in the season so far (16 games)! I believe you had your best game against 2. Division Powerhouse SC Freiburg in the middle of December 2008? Do you remember the game?
Luis Robles: I remember the game, because it was very important for us. It was the last game in the first round. The team wanted to finish strong and wanted to give our great supporter a nice present for Christmas. It was very cold but the Fritz Walter stadium was almost with 55.000 people packed. SC Freiburg had at the beginning a couple of chances, which I saved. I had a good game, but I will give most of the credit to our defense. Our defense is very strong and they made it very easy for me to perform well.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: The 1. FC Kaiserslautern is a very big club with a lot of tradition in the German soccer history. The supporter base is huge. How is it to play for a big club like 1.FCK?
Luis Robles: The fans are just great. It is a lot of fun to play in front of them. It is in general a great atmosphere in the town. People start to recognize me more often and I have to sign some autograph while I am having a schnitzel. I think the fans appreciate my hard work and my attitude.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: You were drafted in the 2007 MLS Super Draft by D.C. United! But you decided to sign with the reserve team from 1.FC Kaiserslautern and to play overseas? What did your parents, coaches and friends think about your decision?
Luis Robles: My parents are always the first to talk to. They always supported me and backed my decisions up. They knew that I always wanted to go to Europe to play professional soccer. I also have a good relationship to my old college coach Bill Irwin from the University of Portland. He played professional soccer in the UK, so he knows what he is talking about. My old club coach is from Aachen, Germany. He is also an important impact for my decisions concerning soccer.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Did you only try out for 1.FC Kaiserlautern or did you have some other German teams lined up?
Luis Robles: It is kind of a funny story. A Day after D.C. United drafted me. I received a call, if I wanted to try out for Carl Zeiss Jena, who played at this time in the 2. Division. I arrived on a Tuesday in Kaiserslautern, because my agent is from there. I wanted to practice with any team, because the try out with Jena was until Friday. I practiced with the Kaiserlautern reserve team to stay in shape and after the session, they offered me a contract.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Who was responsible for your transfer to Germany and how did you get in contact with him or her?
Luis Robles: I was in contact with Josh Simpson, my old teammate from the University of Portand. Josh played for Millwall in England and signed with 1.FC Kaiserslautern. He basically was my connection to my current agent.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: You left the USA after you had a great college career at the University of Portland? Was it a big adjustment for you to a different culture and a different style of soccer?
Luis Robles: Germany is a big difference compare to the US. I am really blessed with all the support. Josh is a great help and the club did also a great job. There is also a big American military base in the Kaiserlautern area, which makes it even easier for me. But I am in a great situation to have already a friend here. The people are very nice here.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Josh Simpson (Canadian National player and former University of Portland team mate) signed a 3-year contract with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2006. Did you talked to him before you decided to play in Germany?
Luis Robles: Yes, we always stayed in contact even if he just played two years for the University of Portland. He played for Millwall in England before he signed with 1.FC Kaiserslautern. He introduced me to his agent, who organized the try out in Germany.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: By the way, the Kaiserlautern region is very famous for their great wine. Do you have any Germany food or wine recommendation?
Luis Robles: I tasted wine, before I came to Germany. But you are right the wine in the Kaiserlautern region is great. I really like the wine fest, because the weather is nice, the people are in a great mood and the food is fine. It is a very nice atmosphere during this time.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock) is also a former University of Portland player; do you have any contact to him or other American players in Germany?
Luis Robles: Since Heath played for the same school. We were via facebook in contact. The school network also helps us out to stay in contact with other American players.
GERMANY SOCCER TRAVELER: Thanks a lot for the interview. Do you have any tips for young American players who would like to play on a professional level in Germany?
Luis Robles: My only advise for other players are to work hard and use every opportunity. Even if you don’t sign with a big team sign with a smaller team and work your way up. It might take some time and it will be not always easy, but trust me it will be worth it.
Thanks a lot Luis for this interviiew. Have a lot of fun in Germany and good luck with your carrier.