Four time MLS Cup champion defender Eddie Robinson, one of the last remaining original Dynamo, announced his retirement from professional soccer today. Robinson came with the team in 2006 when they moved from San Jose and was a key part of the team's two championships. Injuries have limited Robinson the last couple of seasons, but his retirement from the game does not mean we'll be seeing any less of E-Rob around Houston.
The club announced Robinson will join the front office, serving the club in several capacities. He will work with the Dynamo Academy, taking over as head coach of the U-16 team in the fall. He will also be a color commentator for select TV and radio broadcasts, and a community ambassador for Dynamo Charities. While these posts won't require him to throw any of his patented elbows, he's more than qualified for all of them.
Robinson played 96 regular season matches and nine playoff matches in six season in Houston. Robinson spent four years at the University of North Carolina before being drafted 20th overall by the Earthquakes 2001 MLS SuperDraft. E-Rob made the All-Star team in 2006 and was an MLS Best XI selection in 2007.
Chris Canetti had this to say about E-Rob on the team's website today:
"I am extremely pleased to have Eddie join us in the front office after an illustrious playing career."
"He was an integral part of our team's success and he will bring a lot of value to what we are trying to do as a club moving forward."
Robinson himself told the HoustonDynamo.com he's excited:
"This move brings a whole new set of challenges for me. I care a lot about this organization and I want to see it succeed. I am now in a position to help the organization grow from a different standpoint."
The retirement of Robinson removes yet another veteran from this team, along with the unfortunate departure of Brian Ching. Dominic Kinnear will undoubtedly be looking to some new faces to step up and become the new leaders on this team. Fortunately with the likes of Brad Davis, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron and others, there shouldn't be a shortage of capable individuals to fill the gaps left.
The team announced there will be an open party soon to honor E-Rob. Details should be coming soon. Be sure to leave your thoughts and memories of Eddie here in the comments.