Inter Miami got some bad news recently as the club announced that young forward Robbie Robinson will miss several months with a hamstring injury. It's estimated that he will be out 4-5 months, which would put his return in either October or November.
Due to a moved up schedule (caused by the World Cup), this could mean that the former #1 overall pick might miss the remainder of the season (the MLS Cup final is November 5th). This could be some bad news for an Inter Miami squad that definitely has playoff aspirations and beyond.
While Robinson is not the team's key man, this is still a major blow in the development of the 23-year-old, and also means that Miami will have to work to replace his spot in the lineup. So far this season, Robinson has one goal and one assist in 489 minutes across six starts and two sub appearances. He is also completing a strong 81.7% of his passes, with eight key passes on the season.
Robinson will long be connected with Miami in the history booksas the first ever MLS Superdraft pick made by the franchise. Miami was awarded the #1 overall pick in the Superdraft headed into their expansion season (fellow expansion-side Nashville received the 2nd pick) and chose to select Robinson out of Clemson, making him one of the club's first ever players. While Robinson has not exactly broken down the record books in first few seasons (five goals and two assists through 44 matches [26 starts]), he still has a lot of potential and may be a key piece of Miami's future.
Robbie Robinson is likely to miss most of the MLS season
Robinson's future might be the biggest thing impacted by his injury. He hasn't taken the league by storm since going #1 overall, but he also still has promise. If someone else comes in and firmly takes hold of Robinson's position then that could arise questions about Robinson's future with the club. Also, anytime a youngster goes down for an extended amount of time, they lose valuable reps and minutes which could be crucial for their development.
Even though they're just tenth in the Eastern Conference table at the moment, Miami is hot. They were unbeaten in four MLS matches before the international break and had collected 17 points in their last nine matches (after an ice cold start to the season in which they picked up just one point in their first five matches). This run for Miami has sent them from the bottom of the table to the middle, with a long way still to go in the MLS season.
With Miami as hot as they are, a disruption to their lineup such as losing Robinson could cause some worry. Even though he hasn't been an every game player, he has been playing recently and could affect Miami's chemistry without him there. Miami will also miss his passing ability. He's a bright young player who Miami could miss, but it also isn't the end of the world either.
The biggest thing going for Miami is that they still have Leonardo Campana. Campana is one of the leading scorers in MLS this season with seven goals, and he has also added two assists. Campana has not only been arguably Miami's best player, he has been one of the best players in the league. If he keeps up his level of play and Miami finishes strong, Campana might be in the MLS MVP conversation at the end of the year. Having a player of Campana's caliber up top helps to alleviate some of the other issues that may arise on the roster.
Miami will also potentially look to some youngsters to step up, and 21-year old Indiana Vassilev might be one of those guys. Vassilev is currently on loan with Miami from Aston Villa. He has only played in a handful of matches this season for Miami, but he could get extended playing time with Robinson's injury. If Vassilev is able to take a firm grasp of some playing time and play well in the newly opened minutes then it could ultimately be beneficial for all parties involved (Vassilev, Miami, and Aston Villa). The question though is going to be whether he is able to do so.
In general if Miami is going to make a run in the playoffs this season, they need to improve offensively as a whole. They have scored just 15 goals this season, which is near the bottom of the league. They just haven't gotten enough consistent offense outside of Campana. Even though most of the offensive woes came early in the season, the club still needs to score more goals to be playoff competitors this season. While Robinson's absence will hurt the offense, that is the area that is most pressing for Miami to improve in.
Robinson is a promising young player, but Miami has the talent to help make up for his loss. They're a hot team at the moment with a lot of talent, but they will need to replace Robinson in order to keep what they have had going.