Soccer Hall of Fame
Class of 2013
We’ve all seen the television
advertisement, courtesy of the NCAA, in which the college
athletes talk about “going professional in something
other than sports.” That is fine and understandable.
Kids should be allowed to dream, but there is always a place
for the reality check, whether it be in the playing arena
or as a precautionary story from the past. The odds of making
it to the pros, we are told, are long.
But when your “hometown boy” gets there –
and on top of that stays there and succeeds – well,
that is something a bit special. Eddie Robinson from Greensboro,
the University of North Carolina and Major League Soccer
is being inducted into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of
Fame and a lot of us feel that somewhere along the way we
were there for the ride. And a great ride it has been.
The nature of sports success oftentimes lends itself to
looking at beginnings, and for Eddie, it was the youth leagues
in Guilford County. The foundation was the 1978 Greensboro
Soccer Club and he played the game well enough to be recognized
by the Greensboro Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009. At
Page High School he was an outstanding defensive player,
garnering All-State, All-South and ultimately NSCAA All-America
At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, under
the guidance of Coach Elmar Bolowich (NC Soccer HOF, 2012),
Robinson became a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference
selection. His career statistics as a defender included
four goals and 16 points in 73 games, but perhaps the biggest
highlight was being a member of the ACC Tournament Champions
Eddie Robinson was the 20th overall selection by the San
Jose Earthquakes in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft and his accomplishments
were numerous in 11 years, all with the same franchise.
He debuted on April 21, 2001 and a season later scored the
first goal of his professional career. The club would win
MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003 and a Supporters Shield
(best season record) in 2005. That 2005 season would also
prove to be Eddie’s most prolific, as he played in
a career-high 29 games and 2450 minutes while anchoring
the league’s top defense.
The move by the organization to Houston, where they were
renamed the Dynamo, would prove to be most fruitful for
Eddie. He became a fixture on the team’s back line
and endeared himself to the fans. Robinson would be named
to the MLS All-Star team in 2006 and to the league’s
Best XI squad in 2007, all while the Dynamo were winning
two MLS Cups. Injuries would affect his 2009 season, but
he bounced back in 2010 to start 19 of 30 league games.
It was during the 2008 season, however, when a most significant
moment occurred. On January 19, Robinson earned his first
and only international cap for the U.S. Men’s National
Team in a friendly against Sweden. He also scored a goal
in that 2-0 win, making him one of the few U.S. players
to score in their international debut.
Eddie retired as an active player on January 11, 2012 and,
along with his wife Kim and daughters Avery and Reese, has
continued to make Houston home. The past twelve months have
been very busy ones as he has been working with the Dynamo
Academy, serving as a TV and radio commentator and participating
with Dynamo Charities as a service to the community. He
is also head coach for the club’s U-16 squad.
Houston is fortunate to have Eddie Robinson, but for one
night Greensboro and North Carolina welcome back a favorite
soccer son. The North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame recognizes
an athlete who truly reached the top.