The MLS SuperDraft has traditionally been a place where teams could find good defenders, and many expect Miles Robinson to be the latest to make the step up in the pro ranks. The Syracuse center back, signed to a Generation adidas contract, spoke to MLSsoccer.com about his interest in soccer, his interests outside of soccer, and the big purchase he needs to make when he gets his first paycheck.
Robinson started soccer because his older sister Rebecca first got involved.
"My sister was three years older than me, and she played soccer," he said. "So ever since I was like one or two years old, I was watching her. When I was old enough to play, like four or five years old, I got into it, and haven't stopped since."
Family affair at Syracuse
The sibling bond carried into college as well, as both Miles and Rebecca were student-athletes at Syracuse. Rebecca ran track for the Orange, and holds the school record for fastest indoor 400m time.
Robinson said while he probably would have attended Syracuse even if his sister wasn't there first, having her at school with him his freshman year was a bonus in deciding to attend.
At Syracuse, Robinson played two seasons, picking up a slew of accolades while anchoring the backline. His freshman year, he made the ACC All-Freshman team, as well as the ACC All-Tournament team. This past season, Robinson was an NSCAA All-American, ACC Defender of the Year, and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist.
While there are no guarantees, most pre-draft analysis is projecting Robinson to be the first defender selected on Friday.
"A normal kid."
When asked about his life off the field, Robinson demurred, considering himself just "a normal kid, honestly."
One of his pastimes is playing video games, with a particular in both EA Sports' FIFA series and other sports games, like NBA2K.
Taking in MLS from Gillette Stadium
Robinson grew up in Massachusetts, and went to his fair share of New England Revolution games as a kid.
"I went to a good amount of Revs games when I was really little," he said. His favorite player? Shalrie Joseph, who Robinson played with in the PDL last year, for FC Boston. His impression of Joseph the teammate: "He's a really nice guy. It was cool."
Boston sports fan
Given his interest in sports video games, and growing up in Massachusetts, it's no surprise that Robinson is a huge fan of Boston sports teams in general. The 19-year-old has lived through a period of dominance across nearly all pro sports for Boston-area teams, and he acknowledged it's been easy to follow the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins in his youth.
Into Euro soccer, to a point
Like many Americans, Robinson is interested in watching European soccer, but while he catches games from time to time, he isn't as into the sport across the pond as many: "I'm not a diehard supporter of the English Premier League," he noted. "Some of my friends are really hardcore."
On Combine experience
Looking at the faces of players arriving to the Combine last week, there was a mixture of visibly anxious players, those who commanded the room when they walked in, and everything in between. For being a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Robinson was taking the process fully in stride.
"It's definitely a good experience. Nothing too crazy, nothing too weird, honestly. I feel like I'm pretty well prepared for all of this, and I'm just excited to be here."
As for his approach in waiting for his name to be called, Robinson admitted he had thought about teams he would like to go to, but overall was not banking on getting his name called by one of those teams.
"There's obviously some teams you look at, and you're like 'Oh, that would be awesome if I got drafted there.' But I don't really care, as long as I get the opportunity to play, as long as the coach has faith in me I don't really care where [I go]."
Valuable experience with YNT
Robinson has featured for the US youth national team, including several recent call-ups with the U-20 national team.
"[Playing for the youth national team] definitely helped a lot. Just that level of play, the guys I play around, most of them are already pro, and I wasn't pro yet. It just kind of gets you used to the vibe that players have," he explained.
He noted the experience playing for the U-20s helped fit in a progression building to entering the professional ranks.
"I think it's a slow step-up, from high school to [club], then to Syracuse, then next step would be U-20 [national team], then next step would be MLS."
Dealership, here I come
Does Robinson have a sweet ride already? He admitted he doesn't have a car yet, and so buying one will be near the top of his list when he gets his paycheck.
"I've never had a car, so that's definitely something I'll be interested in purchasing," he said. "I haven't really looked into it too deep, but I'm definitely interested."
And he admits heading down to the dealership will be nothing like a chore: "I'm definitely excited [to go car shopping]."