Miles Robinson Starts, Scores First Goal for USMNT
by Bart Keeler
Miles Robinson, Atlanta United’s young linchpin center back, scored his first goal for country in the U.S. men’s national team’s 7-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday. It was also his first start for the national team, coming almost 17 months after his debut in September 2019.
Originally called into the U-23 camp to prepare for Concacaf Olympic Qualifiers, Robinson made the cut for the matchday squad. Head coach Gregg Berhalter mixed in the Olympic-eligible players with the 10 senior players. Robinson beat out notable USMNT stalwart, and reigning MLS Defensive Player of the year, Walker Zimmerman for the starting spot next to captain Aaron Long.
His goal came off a set piece in the 52nd minute. A free-kick won deep in the corner of Trinidad’s half presented the perfect opportunity for Berhalter to try a designed play. Kellyn Acosta swung in a ball to the back post; Robinson darted to the near post, drawing two defenders, while Long escaped to the back post. The wide-open Long headed the ball across goal, to where Robinson had curled back. He dove parallel with the ground and spear-headed the ball into the goal.
Even though the score was 5-0 at that point, Robinson flashed a big smile and celebrated his first international goal with his teammates, including a gleeful Long.
Robinson played all 90 minutes of the match, one of five U.S. players who did so. Despite making only his second appearance for the national team, he looked comfortable throughout the night.
Though the clean sheet was threatened by a penalty (that was saved by goalkeeper debutant Matt Turner), Robinson helped keep the Soca Warriors scoreless. Trinidad did try to pressure Robinson when he was on the ball but easily evaded the defenders and kept possession. He also dominated his aerial duals against an overmatched Trinidad and Tobago side.
It was a good night for the 23-year-old from Massachusetts, who had a dip in form during the 2020 season. He earned an 8 out of 10 rating from MLSSoccer.com for his performance and may have cemented his spot as a starting center back for Jason Kries’ Olympic team heading into qualifiers in March.
ATLUTD will be glad to know they can allow their talented young CB to travel with the USMNT to Guadalajara without missing matches, as the tourney takes place before the MLS season starts.
George Bello, United’s 18-year-old left-back, made his senior international debut when he entered the match in the 64th minute. He is an Olympic hopeful as well; with much-needed left-back depth, Kries will really want Bello in the squad.
This was the first time since November 2019 that an Atlanta United player took the field for the USMNT.
(photo credit: @ATLUTD)