Miles Robinson’s stellar 2021 continues. He was named an MLS All-Star in August and scored his first career MLS goal on Decision Day. His game-winner to lift the U.S. men’s national team over Mexico in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup final on Aug. 1 put his name on an international stage.
And on Monday, the Atlanta United center back was named one of three finalists for MLS Defender of the Year.
His staunch defending on Atlanta’s back line, along with his international experience, is developing Robinson into one of the best defenders in MLS. The 24-year-old ranks second in MLS in duel success rate (min. 100 duels) at 66.83 %, trailing only teammate Ezequiel Barco.
Robinson isn’t the type of player who necessarily fills up the stat sheet, although he did score his first career MLS goal in Atlanta United’s regular season finale in a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati. Instead, Robinson’s contributions come from his ability to close down attackers and intercept passes. His 6-foot-2 frame makes him a formidable challenge for opponents’ aerial passes.
In addition, Robinson has logged significant minutes with a young U.S. men’s national team currently looking to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He has 15 caps and three goals with the U.S. and started six of the seven World Cup Qualifying matches this cycle.
In the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup earlier this year, he started all six matches for the U.S. and scored two goals. He helped the U.S. secure five clean sheets and scored the game-winning goal in the final to defeat Mexico 1-0.
Yeimar Gómez of Seattle Sounders FC and Walker Zimmerman of Nashville SC are the other finalists in the Defender of the Year category. The winner will be announced on Dec. 1.
Current players, club leadership and media members voted to determine the Year-End Awards finalists that are spread out over 15 MLS clubs. Winners for each category will come at various points during the upcoming few weeks. The Year-End Awards will culminate with the announcement of the Landon Donovan MLS MVP on Dec. 6.