Robinson staying sharp as he adjusts to life in Toronto

Dasan Robinson

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TORONTO — Defender Dasan Robinson may have been in MLS a year longer than Toronto FC, but right now he feels like the new kid on the block.

Robinson began his career with the Chicago Fire in 2006 and stayed there until July, when he joined Toronto in a trade that sent Dan Gargan the other way. Since then, though, he's struggled for playing time as he works through an adjustment period with his new club.

“I think it’s a few things: a new team, a new country, a new system, things like that,” Robinson said Tuesday after playing in a 1-1 reserve match against D.C. United at Downsview Park. “There’s a lot to learn here, so I’m just trying to figure things out a little bit still — how they want me to play, how to be part of the team. In the meantime, hopefully I’ll get a chance pretty soon and help the team get some results.”

The acquisition of Robinson was one of a flurry of moves the club has made since the end of June. The 27-year-old was acquired to provide depth at right and center back.

Though he has yet to play in an MLS league game for Toronto, he did appear as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Tauro FC in a CONCACAF Champions League group match in Panama City on Aug. 18.

Playing or not, Robinson said he is enjoying the system that Toronto head coach Aron Winter is establishing at the club as it emphasizes passing and ball control.

“It’s a lot more playing out of the back, a lot more technical football than maybe I’m used to or maybe I’m used to really trying to play,” he said. “I like it, though. They want to pass the ball, and that’s what the game is about. The best teams in the world know how to pass the ball effectively.”

In the reserve game, he survived a knock to the left eye and put in some valuable — and welcome — time on the pitch.

“It gets you sharper and more in tune with the game, so when your number is called, you’re ready to step in" he said. "Sometimes reserve games aren’t always the most fun, but at the same time they do get you sharp and get you ready.”