Washington D.C. (March 15, 2023) - D.C. United appoint Carl Robinson as Assistant Coach. The 46-year-old Welshman returns to MLS after managing the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Newcastle United Jets in the Australian first division the last two seasons. Robinson was previously the head coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps from 2014-2018.
“Carl is an experienced MLS coach who has a great understanding of the league, both as a player and coach,” Wayne Rooney, D.C. United Head Coach, said. “He’s already added a lot of value to the coaching side and his knowledge and experience will be a great addition to our backroom staff.”
Robinson joins the Black-and-Red from the Western Sydney Wanderers where he was appointed as head coach on Oct. 15, 2020. He managed the Wanderers for 33 matches during the Covid pandemic with a 10-11-12 record. Prior to that, Robinson was the head coach for the Newcastle Jets from Feb. 6, 2020 to Oct. 14, 2020, earning a 7-3-1 record while his team scored 19 goals in 11 matches before he left with the club entering administration .After two seasons in Australia’s first division, Robinson had a 17-14-13 record as head coach with 71 goals scored in 44 matches.
“I’m proud to join D.C. United and be a part of the coaching staff for such a historic MLS club,” Carl Robinson, said. “I’m excited about the project that’s being led by Wayne Rooney and believe that the team can be successful this season. I want to thank ownership, Dave Kasper, and Wayne [Rooney] for the opportunity and I look forward to getting started.”
Robinson began his coaching career with Vancouver Whitecaps FC as the Assistant Coach on Jan. 20, 2012. After 2 years under Manager, Martin Rennie, Robinson was promoted to Head Coach on Dec. 16, 2013 after a successful 2012 season where the Whitecaps made the MLS Cup Playoffs and were Runners-up in the Canadian Cup Championship. His first match in charge was on March 8, 2014 in a 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in Vancouver. That season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC finished the 2014 MLS season with a 12-14-8 record and 50 points in the Western Conference. Robinson helped them reach the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup before losing 2-1 to FC Dallas on Oct. 29, 2014. The following season, Robinson led the Whitecaps to the Canadian Cup Championship where they won 4-2 on aggregate over the Montréal Impact. Vancouver also made the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, finishing second in the Western Conference with 53 points but ultimately lost to the Portland Timbers 2-0 on aggregate in the Conference Semifinals on Nov. 8, 2015. In 2016 Robinson led the Whitecaps to their first foray into the CONCACAF Champions league but missed out on the final after a 2-1 Home loss to Tigres UANL. In 2017, Robinson again led the Whitecaps to the playoffs Western conference semifinals amassing 52 points, narrowly missing the Western conference title by one point. He left Vancouver with 5 games to go in the 2018 season with the team outside the playoffs by 3 points, although he had over 2 years left on his contract. In just under five seasons with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Robinson managed a 77-49-73 record with 277 goals scored in 199 matches. He competed in the playoffs three times in four years. He has amassed over 11 years of MLS experience during this time. Robinson also gave current Bayern Munich star, Alphonso Davies, his MLS and professional debut at 15-years-old and worked closely with the Canadian international until he was sold to Bayern Munich on Jan. 1, 2019 for a record fee in MLS at the time.
The Welshman also had an extensive playing career where he was able to win the English Championship with Sunderland AFC and Portsmouth and the Canadian Cup Championship with Toronto FC. Robinson started his career in England with the Wolverhampton Wanderers youth academy and was later promoted to the first team on July 1, 1995. He played 179 matches, scoring 22 goals across six seasons with Wolves in the English Championship, England's second division. Robison then joined Portsmouth FC on Aug. 1, 2002 on a free transfer. He had loan spells to Sheffield Wednesday, Walsall FC, Rotherham United, Sheffield United, and Sunderland AFC, all of the English Championship. After an impressive loan spell with Sunderland AFC, the midfielder signed with the Black Cats on a free transfer from Portsmouth FC and helped them win the English Championship in the 2004/2005 season, securing promotion to the Premier League. During his time with Sunderland AFC, Robinson played in 54 matches, scoring five goals across two seasons. Robinson was then signed by Norwich City, of the English Championship, in 2006 before moving to the MLS with Toronto FC in 2007. The Welshman helped Toronto FC win the 2008/2009 Canadian Cup Championship, winning the club’s first ever trophy. He scored three goals and recorded five assists in 84 matches with Toronto FC over three seasons. Robinson was named player of the year in 2007 and 2008 seasons before being traded to the New York Red Bulls in 2010 where he transitioned into a player-coach role. He is the only person to win the Canadian Championship as both a player and manager.
In total, Robinson played in 440 club matches, scoring 35 goals, and recording seven assists across 10 different clubs.
Robinson also represented the Welsh National team and made his debut on Sept. 4, 1999 in a 2-1 European Qualifiers win over Belarus. In total, he amassed 52 Senior national team caps and one goal with Wales before announcing his retirement on April 1, 2009. Robinson was born in Llandrindod Wells, Wales and has over 26 years of playing and coaching experience.