Macklin Robinson Brings Sharp Focus In Net For Cosmos B

The shot-stopper, looking to get involved in the team's possession, is always mentally ready
Published Jun 1, 2018
Cosmos B will reach the midway point of its National Premier Soccer League season Saturday night with its goals on accomplishing a rare and difficult feat in any league.
The team wants to finish the 10-game regular season unbeaten and win a championship.
"That's the goal, to run the table and not lose a game," goalkeeper Macklin Robinson said. "There's a lot of guys in this country that have the talent, but they don't have the mentality or work ethic. I think every single guy here has the mentality, the talent, and the work ethic. If we stay focused, I think that's a very realistic possibility to run the table and to win an NPSL championship.
"You've got to have that belief and all of the guys do. We're trying to build off that, every day trying to improve. In today's game you have to adapt. You always have to be working to have that one step ahead."
The North Atlantic Conferences leaders (4-0, 12 points) visit Rhode Island Reds FC (0-2-1, 1) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Cosmos B enters the game having dominated most of their games, enjoying huge stretches of possession while outscoring its opponents.
That hasn't affected Robinson's concentration.
"My strength has always been my technical ability with my feet and my ability to play on the field," he said. "So, I'm always moving, especially the way the Cosmos play. We're playing out of the back. I'm always an option. I'm always very high up the field, trying to cut out balls, and reading the game. It's not hard to stay paying attention during the game because I am so involved without my hands."
Like many young goalkeepers, Robinson found his way into the goal by chance. He was tall for an eight-year-old kid. One day the regular goalkeeper was injury and Robinson found himself guarding the net.
Unlike many young goalkeepers, Robinson had superior foot skills because he also played the field as an attacking midfielder or striker until he was 16-year-old. His hand-eye coordination was aided by the fact he played basketball and football as well.
"I attribute that to my skills with my feet," he said. "It has worked out. I always like being in a position with pressure, but I also like playing the field. So that's a good balance."
In high school, Robinson also played the field.
"I scored a lot of goals, not so much because I was skillful, but because I could kick the ball really hard and really far," he said a laugh. "So, I would get the ball and turn and shoot and it worked out for me."
Robinson hails from Cincinnati, which was awarded a Major League Soccer franchise Tuesday. Cincinnati might be considered a soccer-crazy town these days, but it was far different when he was growing up.
"I took a different path to professional soccer than a lot of the guys here," he said. "Ironically, I was raised in Cincinnati, but before the FC Cincinnati thing no one really cared about soccer. There weren't a lot of opportunities as far as academy and things like that."
So, Robinson made four-hour round trips to play for the Columbus Crew for two years.
"That was tough," he said.
Robinson spent two years at Ohio Dominican University, a Division II school. When he realized that he wanted to pursue a pro career, Robinson transferred to DePaul University and played in the Big East for two years.
Three days after his last final exam, he received a call from the Carolina Railhawks (North American Soccer League). They wanted to sign him.
He was with the team for two seasons, though he was loaned to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for part of the 2017 United Soccer League season. He played the five final games for the team (now known as North Carolina FC) in 2017, recording a 0.72 goals-against average.
Robinson did not return to Carolina, but as one door closed, another opened.
"I did really well," he said. I played against the Cosmos. They knew who I was. I just got a call from my agent and he said the Cosmos are looking for a goalkeeper. I was like, 'Sign me up.' "
Well, it was actually Cosmos B, but that didn't matter.
"It's the organization," Robinson said. "I knew that coming in. I've heard so much about the respect and the level of play and the expectation of players. I always pushed myself to play at the highest level possible and with the best players possible and this is no exception to that principle."
Not only did Robinson make the team, he has started all four NPSL matches. He said that it has helped knowing center back Garrett Halfhill from his Cincinnati and Big East days and having experienced hands such as Jonathan Borrajo and Chris Wingert in the back.
"A lot of these guys have so much experience,” he said. “It's felt very easy to just come in and have a good rapport between the guys. The record reflects on how we've been doing.”
And oh yes, about that first name. It's not every day we meet someone named Macklin.
"I always tell people I have two last names because they ask, 'Is your first name Macklin or is your last name Macklin? My dad always wanted to have a son named Mack. One day he came home, and it was like, 'How about 'Macklin?' It stuck, and it worked.
"I stand out. Whatever works."
Robinson hopes that he and Cosmos B will continue to stand out in the NPSL.