Atlanta United

Miles Robinson: USMNT defender backed to play in Europe by former Atlanta United captain

Chris Smith
Robinson is among the best center-backs in MLS right now.
Robinson is among the best center-backs in MLS right now. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Former Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst believes his old center-back partner Miles Robinson is capable of playing in 'any league in the world'.

Robinson has established himself as one of the best defenders in Major League Soccer over the past few years with the Five Stripes, notching up over 100 appearances for the club and picking up MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and Campeones Cup titles along the way.

His form at club level has translated onto the international stage, too, with Robinson accumulating 21 caps for the United States to date, winning the Concacaf Gold Cup last summer as part of the competition's Best XI.

Robinson has continued to impress at the start of the 2022 MLS season, averaging 1.5 interceptions and 3.4 clearances per 90 minutes for Atlanta United, while he has only been dribbled past twice in 372 minutes.

Now 25 years old, Robinson is still often linked with Europe but will surely feel his chance has to come soon before it is too late. And Parkhurst has backed him to take that chance, should it come.

"I really think that Miles could play in any league in the world," Parkhurst said in an interview with ESPN where he also discussed USMNT center-backs Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long. "I don't think that he's the final product, there's little things that he needs to work on and improve on, but I've never played with anyone that's a better defender, I've never seen a better one-on-one defender.

"Usually it's the physical tools that would prevent you from playing in certain leagues, but these guys are three of the most athletic defenders I've ever seen."

Zimmerman and Long are 28 and 29 years old respectively and while they have been linked to European clubs in the past, their time to cross the Atlantic has probably passed.

And Parkhurst concedes that it could be now or never for Robinson, based on his own experience of moving to Danish side Nordsjaelland in December 2008 as a 24-year-old.

"I was at that moment ... where it's now or never," Parkhurst recalled. "I think I was 24 or 25, and I was about to sign another four-year deal [in MLS], so at that point it's like, 'I'm gonna be too old [to go to Europe].' So there's definitely a time limit where you're not attractive anymore and the opportunity's not there."