HOUSTON – With the MLS Re-Entry Draft in the rearview mirror, a number of players are trying to figure out their next step. Among those with an uncertain future is Eddie Robinson.
The 11-year veteran and Dynamo defender went undrafted Monday in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft and faces more than a little bit of career uncertainty. Robinson’s options include re-signing with Houston, seeking his a contract elsewhere or ending his standout career.
Preliminary talks with Houston have Robinson hoping the first option will prevail.
“I talked to [head coach Dominic Kinnear] after MLS Cup about things, and I believe they'll have me back,” Robinson told MLSsoccer.com by phone Monday. “I think if I went to them and said, ‘Hey, I feel like I've still got a few more years,’ I think they'd [bring me back].”
If Robinson does return, he expects to fill the same locker room leadership role he did in 2011. He saw action in three competitive matches last year, logging 146 minutes in two MLS games and starting Houston’s US Open Cup loss to Sporting Kansas City on April 6, during which he captained the reserve squad.
With the season behind him, Robinson told MLSsoccer.com that he is prepared to keep playing and is as “fit as ever.” Yet, he is keeping an open mind about what lies ahead after more than 10 years as a professional.
“It's a difficult position for anyone when it comes time for the possibility of a career change,” Robinson said. “In the scheme of life, a career change is a big decision, and when you make it, you have to be absolutely sure because you don't want to have any regrets. I'm really giving it some thought.”
When asked if he would consider playing elsewhere, Robinson said it would be a tough decision because of his “family’s love” for their home in Houston.
With the offseason steadily progressing – Houston kick off their preseason camp Jan. 23 – there isn’t much time for Robinson and the Dynamo to mull over their options. The 11-year veteran hopes to talk to the Houston front office and gauge the situation before Christmas.
Whatever the decision, Robinson said he is happy with a career that has yielded four MLS Cup titles, 2007 MLS Best XI and 2006 All-Star selections and a national team call-up.
“In the grand scheme of things, I'm only 33 and I've got a lot of life to live,” Robinson said. “I've done more in this league than a lot of players who are much better than me. I've had a wonderful career. ... As far as my career, it’s just a difficult decision, and at the end of the day, I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy. Whatever comes next, one thing I know is I'm going to get after it with everything I have.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com