"He's a top player": Miles Robinson gives FC Cincinnati first win of 2024


CHICAGO – Any newcomer stepping into an established squad will naturally encounter jitters until things start to click.

But scoring the game-winner in your team’s first win of the new MLS season? That can quickly settle lingering nerves, just as Miles Robinson did for FC Cincinnati on Saturday night at Chicago Fire FC.

Robinson, a headlining offseason addition for the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners, tallied a 68th-minute goal off Luciano Acosta’s inswinging corner kick. Combined with Aaron Boupendza's opener (39'), the visitors held on for a 2-1 victory in Matchday 3.

“It's a massive weight off my shoulders,” Robinson said among celebrations at Soldier Field. “ … It makes the decision feel even better. Getting a goal like this, getting the win, and helping my team in any way possible.”

Robinson, a 26-year-old US international, was arguably the biggest get of this year’s MLS free-agency class. He developed a widely-respected reputation during seven seasons at Atlanta United, highlighted by two MLS Best XI nods (2019, ‘21) and numerous trophies won.

While rumors swirled that Robinson would head to Europe this winter, and was seeking a Designated Player deal akin to what Walker Zimmerman got at Nashville SC, he ultimately signed a one-year/non-DP deal (plus a one-year option) with Cincy.

With that decision, Cincy now have Robinson and Matt Miazga leading their center-back group – not missing a beat after Yerson Mosquera’s loan from Wolves ended. Through four games across all competitions in 2024, and factoring in squad rotation, FC Cincinnati are yet to concede a goal from open play.

“We anticipated that,” head coach Pat Noonan said of Robinson succeeding in a baptism by fire. “Miles is a strong player, we can see that. So, inserting him into the backline, you can see we haven't lost much in terms of the way we defend.

“... He stepped right in and been a presence for us.”

Robinson has not been shy about wanting 2024 to be the biggest season of his career to date. He often cites it when explaining how he chose Cincinnati as his next destination.

Well-established as a top-end MLS defender, Robinson could add more regular goal-scoring to his toolkit. Before Saturday, Robinson had just three league goals to his name from his Atlanta United days.

"He's a top player,” Noonan said. “You could see it in certainly how he defends.

“… And then obviously, he's an asset on set pieces,” the coach continued. “He's already gotten on the end of some in the first four games which could have been goals, so we'll try to continue to find ways to free him up so he can find goals in that way.”

Robinson also mentioned his handful of near-misses and shared that seeing one go in should be key to his mission to hit a new level.

“You want to get that first one as soon as possible,” he said. “Hopefully they can come in bunches. But this definitely gave me confidence to continue to score.”