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Atlanta United’s Miles Robinson makes USMNT debut vs. Mexico

The 22-year-old center back entered as a substitute in the 58th minute.

May 5, 2019; Kansas City, KS, USA; Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) moves the ball during the match against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
May 5, 2019; Kansas City, KS, USA; Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) moves the ball during the match against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Miles Robinson, the Atlanta United center back who has enjoyed a breakout Major League Soccer season in 2019, made his United States men’s national team debut Friday night against Mexico. Robinson subbed on in the 58th minute, replacing Los Angeles Football Club center back Walker Zimmerman.

The Americans lost 3-0. Robinson had an uneventful night in his first cap, amassing one clearance, one recovery and one foul suffered. Positionally, he was sound. The center back completed 19 of 21 passes, but he was not asked to take many risks with his distribution.

The 22-year-old has been one of Atlanta’s best players this year, starting 27 of his 28 MLS games. Robinson has played in 38 games across all competitions for the Five Stripes. Despite matching up one-v-one against opposing center forwards each week, Robinson has committed just 20 fouls in league play while suffering 22. He has won 78 percent of his attempted tackles.

Robinson learned of his USMNT call-up last week and said he would not take any expectations into his first senior national-team camp.

“I’m just excited to go out there and see what I can do,” he told reporters after an Atlanta training session. “I’m just trying to meet the guys, meet the coaching staff, just see the environment, see what it’s like, learn as much as possible, just gain all I can from the experience in general.”

Robinson made two friendly appearances with the U.S. under-23 side in March, totaling 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Egypt and a 0-0 draw against the Netherlands. 

After Robinson received the national-team call last week, his club manager, Frank de Boer, praised the player’s consistency as reason for his impressive season.

“Maybe he will be nervous for his first cap, but I think when you see him and how he showed his quality [with Atlanta] and didn’t show any nerves during the start of the season, he’s very down to earth and works very hard, knows exactly his qualities,” de Boer said. “That’s why he still is on this level. Normally what you see with players who are not as stable as him, they have their peak and then fall down. He didn’t show any downfall of that, so I think he will manage it.”

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