Miles Robinson was set for a guaranteed start in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. His amazing performances at the CONCACAF Nations League and the game-winning goal at the CONCACAF Gold Cup were proof enough that the Atlanta United center back would be one to look out for in Qatar.
That all changed during a May 7, 2022 game against the Chicago Fire when Robinson tore his Achilles tendon. It left USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter scrambling to find a replacement for him.
After injuries to players like Chris Richards and mismatched fits at the left side of the center back pairing, Tim Ream of Fulham stepped in and stepped up at Qatar – all while Robinson recovered at his home.
Now, the Massachusetts-native has made a full recovery and is four games into his 2023 MLS season with Atlanta. The Syracuse University product received a call-up to the March camp for Team USA – as they travel to Grenada, then host El Salvador for the final two games of CONCACAF Nations League play.
In a press conference, the Five Stripes’ defender spoke about his recovery process, his eagerness to get back on the field, and what drives him further.
Miles Robinson is back with the United States after an unfortunate Achilles injury in May 2022
Robinson was poised to be a starter for the United States after a spectacular summer in 2021
‘I watched most of the World Cup from my couch with my family,’ Robinson admitted. ‘It was tough at some moments, but obviously I’m cheering on these guys. We worked hard together qualifying and I was happy to see them succeed in the World Cup. So it was great for me to watch them.’
He added that he was driven by the desire to get back to representing the United States as soon as he could.
‘It was definitely a goal to get back out here, play with these guys, compete with these guys, and represent the country. That’s definitely something that I looked forward to in my rehab – hoping to come back and represent the country. But, yeah, it feels good and I’m excited to be back out here,’ he said.
Robinson opened up about the struggles he had – going from preparing to play for his club during the season and working towards the World Cup, to all of that suddenly disappearing.
‘It was definitely tough at some moments, more mentally than physically,’ Robinson revealed. ‘I think the first few months when you can’t really walk is definitely tough.
‘And then towards the end when I could get out on the field, but [was stuck] watching the World Cup was also, mentally pretty tough. But… I use it for motivation at this point. I’m so grateful to be back out here with this team.’
He added: ‘There’s definitely some pain I felt but I think it was kind of, you know, finite, where maybe the first few weeks, were tough.
‘But after that, I kind of understood: this is the facts, this is the circumstances and I just have to get back back out there, focus on every single day, how it lays out and not really worrying too much about the future. That’s kind of been my mindset throughout my whole career.’
After recovering, Robinson has been back and playing with club side Atlanta United in MLS
He’s played four games with the Five Stripes so far – as the season has just only begun
Robinson said his recovery wasn’t a solo effort – and had thanks for everyone who helped him get back to the USMNT.
‘I gotta thank my family, they’re always there supporting me, you know, mentally. Obviously, all the physios in Atlanta,’ he said.
‘Some physios even here with the national team helped me out. Aaron Long, I was definitely texting him throughout the whole process. But just all those people, loved ones that kind of kept my head grounded and focused on my recovery.
‘It was a great conversation with Anthony. I was excited to talk to him, he was definitely happy to see me and I was definitely happy to see him. And it was just one of those things that kind of, you know, boost your energy, and boost confidence just being back, representing the country.’
When answering a question asked by DailyMail.com about his return to his starting role at left center back in the USMNT lineup – while sitting next to current starting LCB Tim Ream – Robinson said that he’s taking it one day at a time and looking to get back into a groove before focusing on returning to the starting XI.
‘I think at this point, I’m just happy to be back, happy to be back competing with these guys, and proving myself. I don’t really think too far in the future, personally,’ Robinson admitted.
‘I kind of just take it day by day and focused on tomorrow’s session, trying to play my best, show what I can do to contribute to this team – however any coach will see me.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk