FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — If nothing else, Sunday’s season opener served as a crash course of what to expect in MLS for Robbie Robinson.
Inter Miami’s highly-anticipated debut over the weekend saw Robinson earn his first appearance and start at the professional level, and the 1-0 away loss to LAFC admittedly gave the rookie striker plenty of lessons that he is planning to try and apply towards Week 2 and beyond.
Chief among them: a more willingness to pull the trigger.
“Some players were telling me that maybe I should have shot more, even if it is a bad angle,” said Robinson before Inter Miami practice on Tuesday morning. “They trust me and my shot is good enough to do it, to shoot from outside or near the corner of the box. I think that’s something I can improve on, just taking those opportunities and just going for goal.”
The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s MLS Draft, Robinson did not only learn that he should attempt to fire on frame more often. The 21-year-old forward also realized, upon watching the game again, that he was a bit disconnected from the rest of the the attack and could have done a better job of linking up.
Robinson also believes he did not communicate with his teammates as much as he could have, that he could have contributed more so on the defensive side, and that he might have to been a bit too honest for his own good in a certain moment in the second half.
“I was in the box and the player was grabbing my shirt, grabbing my shirt,” said Robinson. “Instead of just going down, I tried to stay up and fight back and try to get a goal, but probably the best option was to just go down at that point and take the penalty for the team. That’s what (Rodolfo Pizarro) was telling me.”
Sunday might not have marked a dream debut for the promising youngster — who got the nod up top over the recently-recovered Juan Agudelo — but there were some positives to build on. LAFC head coach Bob Bradley labeled Robinson “a handful” for his defense in the immediate aftermath of the season opener because of Robinson’s work ethic and tireless runs, and Inter Miami agreed with that assessment.
“He created a lot of havoc for them with runs in behind,” said Inter Miami left back Ben Sweat on Tuesday morning. “He created a lot of chances and opportunities, and that’s what the coaching staff wants out of him and that’s what we want out fo him: to relieve some pressure from the defense and midfield by sometimes making those runs.”
Having had some time to more closely analyze and marinate on his debut performance as a pro, Robinson is hoping to learn from the “mistakes” he made in Week 1. He is hungry to help Inter Miami avoid a repeat of another scoreless loss — even if that requires him to shoot from angles and spots that are tougher than he is used to.
“I think the shots they’re telling me (about) are hard shots to take, but they believe in me and I believe in myself to take those shots so next time I’m going to do it,” said Robinson. “It’s all part of the process of just learning and getting that experience in the game to be able to improve and be better next time.”