After an 11-year career in Major League Soccer, Eddie Robinson is using the U.S. Soccer Development Academy to revamp his career in the coaching ranks.
Robinson was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2001, and moved with the team when it relocated to Houston in 2006 and became known as the Dynamo. Now, as the head coach of the Dynamo’s U-15/16 Academy team, Robinson is learning how to coach kids less than half his age.
“The biggest part is understanding the psychology of 15- and 16-year-olds,” Robinson said. “Understanding that there’s so much outside the field that I can’t do anything with. My job is to create an environment that not only teaches them soccer and fundamentals, but also builds character. That’s what we’ve done here.”
Of the 16 teams at U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week, half are associated with MLS teams, a statistic that speaks to the growth of the highest division of professional soccer in the U.S.
Robinson uses his own experiences under Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear to mold the players in the best way to fit the style of play that Kinnear is looking for.
“A lot of our training sessions are based on what the first team does,” he said. “It’s nice to see that when our guys go over and train with the first team, they’re comfortable and they know them. They understand the activities and they understand the speed of thought and the speed of play over there, and they bring it back. That makes a huge difference.”
Robinson is a color commentator on TV and radio and does public speaking as well he works with the Dynamo. But Robinson said coaching in Houston is something that he wants to continue.
“I’m so fortunate that this organization thought enough of me to keep me involved in so many aspects of it,” he said. “I have no idea where my life is going, but as long as it’s with this organization that’s good for me.”