Meet Jedi Robinson, USMNT's Emerging Left Back

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Kirk Irwin / Contributor

Antonee 'Jedi' Robinson wasn't always a guaranteed starter for the U.S. Men's National Team, but the Fulham left back has quickly made himself a lock in Gregg Berhalter's side.

Last month, Robinson scored in the USMNT's 1-0 win over El Salvador and that proved to be a huge result for the Americans as they now sit a few matches away from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The 24-year-old has become a mainstay at Fulham as well and could very well be on the radar of Premier League sides in the near future if his trajectory stays on its current course.

At a time where almost every established American superstar is playing in Europe, Robinson still falls behind in recognition but that doesn't mean he's a truly talented player that has a bright future for the USMNT.

Here's a closer look at how Robinson has built his career and what his future could look like for both club and country.

Robinson's Journey

A fun fact about Robinson is that he prefers to go by the name Jedi instead of the name Antonee, which his parents gave him.

Robinson is a noted Star Wars fan and has been since he was a child, so the fact that he's a Jedi with the ball at his feet makes the nickname even more suitable.

"I feel weird being called Antonee," Robinson said recently. "I prefer being called Jedi."

Robinson was born in England and joined Everton's academy at the age of 11.

Although he never made a first-team appearance for the Toffees, Robinson became an influence on loan at Bolton and Wigan before eventually moving full time to the latter club.

While at Wigan, Robinson was hugely successful and actually on the brink of a move to AC Milan, but a heart condition ultimately halted the move.

During Robinson's medical examine, the Serie A side discussed a heart rhythm irregularity and that forced the defender to stay at Wigan and receive treatment.

The budding USMNT star eventually landed at Fulham in 2020 and now he's beginning to become one of the best left backs in the Championship and Fulham appear very much on course to reach the Premier League once again.

Style of Play

Robinson is a clever outside back, usually deployed on the left side of a back four.

The American is very good with the ball at his feet and and that's why he's extremely dangerous down the wing.

As he does often for the USMNT, Robinson can whip in crosses on his preferred left foot and also cut inside to set up shots as well.

What the Future Holds

Given Robinson's rise with Fulham and the USMNT a move could be on the near horizon in 2022.

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Alex Davidson/Getty Images

With the U.S. expected to garner significant exposure if they qualify for the World Cup, Robinson could be auditioning for a move to another Premier League side or perhaps a team outside of England.

He'll be a huge figure in the USMNT XI for the long term no matter where he's playing club ball though, especially given the fact that he's distanced himself from other left backs in the American pool.

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