With less than a week until the season begins for Atlanta United, the Major League Soccer side has suffered a stinger.
According to CBS Sports reporter Roger Gonzalez, stalwort defender Miles Robinson has suffered a quad strain and his timetable for a return is unclear. Gonzalez reports that Robinson will have an MRI sometime in the next 36 hours to determine the extent of the injury and develop a plan for recovery.
The 22-year-old was forced off early in the friendly against second-tier Mexican club Leones Negros. Atlanta United went on to lose the friendly on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
The timing of Robinson’s injury is poor, with the club set to begin CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday against Honduran side Motagua. The first leg of the knockout stage meeting is on the road in Tegucigalpa, with the second leg coming the following week in Atlanta.
Arriving in 2017 as the franchise’s first draft pick out of Syracuse University, Robinson anchored an Atlanta United defense last season that proved to be of the best in the league despite being relatively overshadowed by the club’s prolific attack. With Robinson making appearing in all 34 league games last campaign, Atlanta United conceded 43 goals, good for joint-fifth in all of MLS and third in the Eastern Conference.
The 22-year-old has garnered looks at the USMNT level for his play at the back, with a pair of friendly appearances for the senior team under his belt coming last September. Robinson is thought to be a potential contributor this upcoming World Cup cycle, and while the likes of John Brooks, Aaron Long, and Walker Zimmerman have received most of the recent looks, the center-back pool is thin enough that Robinson has a legitimate shot to earn a place. However, muscle injuries have been a detractor to Robinson’s chances of making an impression, as he was felled late last season with a hamstring injury that saw him miss the CONCACAF Nations League games in October and November.