The team announced that Robinson would undergo surgery on Monday after an MRI confirmed the injury to the Achilles tendon in his left leg.
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“We are devastated for Miles,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement. “He had established himself as a top performer throughout last year and World Cup qualifying. We will be thinking of him and wishing him a successful recovery process.”
The central defender was carried off the field on a stretcher. He faces a lengthy recovery and rehab period that probably will cost him a roster spot at the World Cup.
Robinson started 11 of 14 World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT.
“Just heartbreaking,” Atlanta defender Brooks Lennon said. “I think we were all kind of stunned. We’re praying for him. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Robinson took a step back near the halfway line 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 artificial turf at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and pointed at his leg again as athletic trainers came out to attend to him.
Robinson has three goals in 21 international appearances. He memorably scored in the 1-0 victory over Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final last August.
The loss of Robinson will force U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter to consider other options in central defense for the World Cup.
Walker Zimmerman had nine starts during qualifying, with Chris Richards getting 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 the Americans.
Atlanta United, meanwhile, is dealing with another devastating injury and questions about both its training program and the FieldTurf surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
In addition, star forward Josef Martinez is still recovering after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on April 6. The team said he would miss six to eight weeks.
“I have never seen something this bad,” United coach Gonzalo Pineda said of the run of injuries. “We’ve been checking for everything. We haven’t found anything different. We always check and compare day by day, that’s our routine, but also they went for a little bit longer time and they check for everything. There’s nothing there. I mean, at times you just have bad luck and we just have to try to find a solution.”
Atlanta’s players were stunned by another major loss.
“It’s something very sad,” midfielder Franco Ibarra said. “We don’t know what’s going on. I’m sad to see a team that works very hard throughout the week to come and play and have a serious injury like the ones we have been having.”