“I normally try to have some answers, some words of comfort,” Pineda said. “I don’t think there’s anything I can tell him in my estimation to make him feel better. All I can say is we’re with you. We’re all with you. We all love you. Throughout this process, we are proud of calling this team a family. He is one of our brothers, and we’re going to be with him, but there’s nothing I can tell him from this. It’s just a bad situation for many different levels.”
Alex De John came on for Robinson against Chicago. The team also has George Campbell, who is also injured.
Robinson was the team’s first selection, No. 2 overall, in the 2017 draft after a standout career at Syracuse. Robinson didn’t become a starter until 2019 but became one of the best defenders in MLS.
He has 96 appearances, including 85 starts, for the Five Stripes. After Guzan suffered his injury, Pineda made Robinson the team’s captain because of his experience, durability and leadership.
“Miles has been here since the beginning,” De John said. “He’s won championships here; they won Open Cup. He’s one of the best centerbacks in the league, starting centerback for our nation. He leads by example, on the field. He brings it every week. It’s obviously a tough loss. But the guys have to get together. We need to win games; we need to win trophies. And just next man up.”
Pineda said on Saturday the team has done a self-analysis to try to pinpoint why its players have suffered so many injuries this season. He said there is nothing that can be done differently and summed it up as “bad luck.”
In addition to Guzan, Robinson and Castanheira, midfielder Ozzie Alonso will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL after a tackle against D.C. United. Other players who have missed numerous games because of injury or recovery include Machop Chol, Matheus Rossetto, Franco Ibarra, Santiago Sosa, Josef Martinez, Luiz Araujo, Emerson Hyndman, Campbell, Caleb Wiley and Dom Dwyer.
Pineda said he doesn’t think the turf used in the stadium is the cause of the injuries. De John also said he doesn’t think it’s a factor.
Pineda said the sports science staff gathers information after every injury, starting with one sustained by Jake Mulraney during the preseason, to try to assess the cause. The information ranges from the workload the players have experienced, to the perceived workload, to things one wouldn’t consider such as the hardness of the training pitch. He said members of the club have reached out to doctors, scientists and teams around the country to try to gather information. Pineda said there is no commonality to the injuries suffered by the players this season. He said the three Achilles injuries were completely different.
“We are still doing that work,” he said. “We are still trying to do more research. And hopefully we can have some answers. But at the moment, nothing is conclusive.”
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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule
Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1
March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0
March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1
March 19 Atlanta United 3, Montreal 3
April 2 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0
April 10 Charlotte 1, Atlanta United 0
April 16 Atlanta United 0, Cincinnati 0
April 24 Miami 2, Atlanta United 1
April 30 Montreal 2, Atlanta United 1
May 7 Atlanta United 4, Chicago 1
May 15 vs. New England, 1:30 p.m., ESPN
May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX
May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
June 19 vs. Miami, 3 p.m., ESPN2
June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC
July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1
July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Aug. 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1
Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV
Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FS1
Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX
Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE
Sept. 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas
Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas
Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE