Carl Robinson is a 33 year old soccer (football) player from Wales. He played in the English Premier League (for Portsmouth and Sunderland) and proudly wears his national colors as a member of the Welsh national team. In 2007, he made the jump from England to the MLS when he joined then expansion team Toronto FC.
The midfielder was named team MVP in ’07 and ’08, but was traded to New York after the 2009 season. He’s accomplished more than most people could ever dream of as a professional soccer player, but his real claim to fame is that he’s been able to do all of this and have a family. As a midfielder on the Red Bulls, he’s a combative strategist, but to his wife and two children, he’s dad.
I chatted with Carl about the start of the MLS season, the importance of family and the pride of playing for your home nation.
Chris Osburn of TFL: How different is the soccer atmosphere in the U.S. than in England?
Carl Robinson: The atmospheres are different in ways but at certain stadiums they are exactly the same. Passion, Pride and the demand to win makes the atmospheres great…
TFL: How hard was the decision to come to MLS?
CR: It was a big decision to come to MLS, as I had a young family but a challenge that I wanted. I never have any regrets in my life and enjoy playing here as much as I did back there.
TFL: Tell me about playing in the new Red Bull Stadium.
CR: Red bull arena is fantastic. A soccer specific stadium and great supporters. It is now our job to get the results on the field as everything off it is perfect.
TFL: How do you juggle having a family and a soccer career?
CR: Juggling a soccer career and a family is hard. I get to do what everyone dreams of doing, but I play as I the love the game. As it happens, it pays the bills also. But, my family is the most important thing in my life. Through good times and bad times my family are always with me….
TFL: how did you feel when you were traded after last season?
CR: I knew that I was getting traded after things that went on last year. I had a great time in Toronto, but didn’t agree with certain things and people! But, I’m at a better place now and looking forward to what lies ahead.
TFL: Tell me about the thrill of playing for your home country:
CR: Playing for Wales is a big highlight in my life. A proud welsh boy from a working class family getting to represent his country…. It does not get any better….
TFL: Who do you think has the best shot at winning the World Cup. Who will you be rooting for?
CR: I think that either Spain or Argentina will win the world cup!! I’ll be rooting for Honduras as my buddy Amado Guevara will be captain, and of course the US now!!!
TFL: You’re recovering from a knee injury and have yet to suit up for New York. How is your knee doing?
CR: My knee is getting better. I’ve had to be patient with it, but I’m very close. Just want to get out there and help the lads!!!
TFL: Red Bulls are 2-1, how important is it to get off to a quick start in the MLS?
CR: A good start is massive as you don’t want to be playing catch up all the time…. Very important to get off to a flier!!!!
Title image courtesy Carl Robinson.
30 year old freelance writer and The Father Life‘s resident beer columnist and sports editor. He also writes about fine beverages for drinkingmadeeasy.com and Chilled Magazine. On top of that, he writes about college and professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine, the Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, throw him an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/chrisosburn