Atlanta United’s Robinson pleased to be back in U.S. camp

Atlanta United centerback Miles Robinson is training with the U23 U.S. men’s national team in Florida as it prepares for upcoming Olympic qualifying, which is scheduled to take place March 18-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The U.S. is in a group with Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The other group is composed of Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti.

After round-robin play, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the Tokyo Summer Games. The last time the U.S. qualified for the Olympics was the 2008 games. It finished ninth.

“I think all of us know the history in terms of the U.S. in terms of qualifying for the Olympics,” Robinson said. “Focus is on us, getting better. Goal of the cycle is to qualify.”

The U23 team that is training right now is loaded with talent. In addition to Robinson, who finished top five in MLS Defender of the Year voting in 2019, the group includes his Atlanta United teammate George Bello, a left fullback who was a bright spot last season. It also includes Orlando’s Andres Perea and Daryl Dike, San Jose’s Jackson Yueill, Portland’s Jeremy Ebobisse and Colorado’s Sam Vines, among others.

“I think all of us in the U23 camp, have that type of confidence in themselves and the group that we can do something special,” Robinson said. “It’s about competing and earning right to be on the team and earning the right to represent our country.”

The last time Robinson was called into a U.S. camp was in October 2019, near the end of the league season. It ended with Robinson sustaining a hamstring injury that occurred doing a post-game exercise. It resulted in him missing Atlanta United’s playoffs and upsetting members of the club’s front office.

Robinson described it later as a fluky injury and he seemed very happy to be back in a national camp on Thursday.

“It’s been good to get out there and compete with guys I haven’t seen in a while,” he said.

Robinson said he has yet to speak to new manager Gabriel Heinze or anyone from his staff but that he’s looking forward to doing so.


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