Urban Initiatives board member and former Chicago Fire Defender Dasan Robinson recently took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with Urban Initiatives about his recent success with the L.A. Galaxy as well as sharing some great advice for our Work to Play players. Robinson, a four-year collegiate athlete at University of Dayton, has shared the soccer field with Landon Donovan, David Beckham, & Robbie Keane as a part of the 2010-2011 MLS Cup Champion L.A. Galaxy. Originally drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2006, Robinson is no stranger to success.
In his first year as a professional soccer player, Robinson helped the Chicago Fire capture the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. That first year experience certainly helped him become the championship athlete he is today. “Having success at such an early stage in my career helped me develop my character as a soccer player. It allowed me to be ready for the great times and the bad times.”
Conducting himself as a soccer player on and off the field is what defines Robinson. In 2010 he was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his partnership with Urban Initiatives and other off the field commitments. Urban Initiatives players emulate Dasan’s respectful attitude toward his coaches, teammates, and opponents during each practice and game day.
During his years playing for the Fire he volunteered his time and knowledge at several Work to Play practices and game days. Now Robinson still supports UI’s mission as a board member, continuing to help the organization carry out quality programming and lessons for Chicago’s underserved youth.
Robinson’s support for UI is unmatched, even with a busy off-season. He along with his L.A. Galaxy teammates embarked on a tour of the Asian Pacific visiting Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. Robinson and the Galaxy squared off against the Indonesian National Selection, Philippines National Team and Melbourne Victory in front of huge crowds, displaying the skills and teamwork that won them the MLS Cup. A trip like that certainly brings a team closer and it reminded Dasan of the greatest display of teamwork he saw during his playing days in Chicago.
In a 2009 match against Colorado, Robinson and the Fire found themselves down 0-2 in the first half against a skilled Rapids team. At the half the team rallied and vowed to not let the deficit deter them from coming back and winning the game. “We wanted to do our best and put the first half behind us. Getting one goal at a time was our focus for the second half.” Robinson noted about the mood and conversations in the locker room as they prepared for the next 45 minutes of soccer.
Dasan and the Fire banded together, first getting a goal and then being granted a penalty shot, they found themselves tied up heading into stoppage time. Then in the 92nd minute of the match, Dasan Robinson scored the game-winning goal, propelling his team onto victory against Colorado despite the early deficit. The teamwork displayed during that moment rings true at any level of soccer. Whether it’s club play or the Work to Play program, working together always benefits the team as a whole.
Recently Dasan has decided to hang up his boots and step away from the game of soccer. Dasan departs the MLS as a champion but will remain committed to helping Urban Initiatives bring the beautiful game of soccer to Chicago’s underserved youth. Robinson offers this advice to younger soccer players, “The game teaches you a lot, players at any level should always have fun no matter what. So put everything you have into being the best player you can be.” Dasan Robinson says soccer is a microcosm of life; the way we deal with sports is the way we deal with our lives. It’s key to take one day at a time and always enjoy yourself.
Dasan is an inspiration to all soccer players at any level, we thank him for all of the highlights and joy you have brought to us as soccer fans. Go Dasan!