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Tuesday July 5th, 2022 9:50PM

US defender Miles Robinson hurts leg playing for Atlanta

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta defender Miles Robinson was stretchered off the field after collapsing to the artificial turf with a non-contact injury to his left leg on Saturday in Atlanta’s 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire.

Atlanta coach Gonzola Pineda said Robinson will have an MRI on his Achilles tendon.

“Miles Robinson doesn’t look good, but again," Pineda said. “We have to wait for the test and the MRIs and just to see if we can confirm something on that end."

A serious injury to the 25-year-old central defender could cost him a roster spot at the World Cup, where the U.S. opens on Nov. 21 against Ukraine, Scotland or Wales. Robinson started 11h of the Americans’ 14 World Cup qualifiers.

Robinson took a step back near the midfield stripe to head a ball that had been headed by Chinonso Offor in the 14th minute. With Stanislav Ivanov closing in but not making contact, Robinson headed the ball down and kicked it forward with his right foot as he landed awkwardly and fell.

Robinson pointed at his left leg with his both arms, pounded the turf and pointed at his leg again as athletic trainers came out to attend to him.

He was removed on a stretcher in the 16th minute.

Robinson has three goals in 21 international appearances. He scored in the 1-0 win over Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final last August.

Walker Zimmerman had nine starts in central defense during qualifying, Chris Richards four, John Brooks and Mark McKenzie two each and Tim Ream one. Aaron Long, Erik Palmer-Brown and Cameron Carter-Vickers also are possibilities for U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter.

Atlanta already has lost goalkeeper Brad Guzan (right Achilles), Osvaldo Alonso (right ACL) and Dylan Castanheira (left Achilles) to season-ending injuries. Star forward Josef Martinez had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee that the team said on April 8 would sidelined him for six-to-eight weeks.

"I have had some years — whether I was a player or was a coach in Seattle where we had a couple of long-term injuries, as well, but nothing like this, especially not in the first 10 games of the season," Pineda said. “We have a very good sports science department. We measure everything. We reflect on everything we do. I think they do a very, very good job — their standard is very high and obviously, we will check again, but I don’t think there’s anything particularly different to what we’re doing compared to last year or even years before.”

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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