When was the last time the USMNT had a solid no. 1 at left back? DaMarcus Beasley (a left winger) comes to mind - Jorge Villafana has been somewhat inconsistent for the Stars and Stripes though Santos Laguna are sitting first in LigaMX and that is in no small part thanks to Villafana being a regular starter for the team. But his role in the match in Trinidad & Tobago might give a reason to believe that he isn’t exactly the best option going forward.
Seeing as we have the better part of four years to figure this out, there is a new face in the USMNT camp this week that could be that first choice option that whoever, hopefully please, replaces American Manager Dave Sarachan can sharpie in on the team sheet. Meet Antonee Robinson, a 20 year-old British-American playing for Bolton Wanderers on loan from Everton.
Robinson was born in England to an American passport holding British father and British mother. The defender came through the Everton academy and at the beginning of the 2017-18 season was loaned to Bolton Wanderers in the Championship. This season he has established himself with the club and has brought them to the brink of safety as they sit 19th in the table, six points from the relegation zone. Along the way he has made 30 appearances with Bolton and has chipped in 5 assists, according to the team’s website.
This comes after Robinson was sidelined with a serious injury in 2015 while playing in a friendly for Everton. When he was just 17 he required knee surgery and endured a year long recovery. The time off prevented him from playing for the US U-20 squad, leaving him to prove himself with the Everton U-23 side. After joining Bolton last year, he told Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now, “My Dad always told me that any injury you get will test your mentality, and if you get through it you’ll be a better player for it.” For now at least he’s passing as Robinson prepares to make a senior USMNT debut and have the chance to fight for a starting role in the Premier League next season.