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Classy Robbo set to return to Canadian soil

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One of the classiest players to ever wear a Toronto FC jersey is coming back to Canada — to take over as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps announced today that Toronto FC day-one player and ex-co-captain Carl Robinson will become an assistant coach in Vancouver. Robinson and Jake DeClute were added to coach Martin Rennie’s staff on Friday. “Carl and Jake are great additions to the club, as both bring a unique skill set that will complement our current staff,” said Rennie. “Carl has played the game at the highest levels and has a strong understanding of Major League Soccer. Meanwhile, Jake has risen through the North American soccer coaching ranks, while also bringing coaching experience from his time in Scotland, and has also shown a keen eye for talent.” Robinson was a TFC mainstay until 2009, when he suffered facial injuries when he collided with a trialist in an October training session. He was later sent to New York, with Toronto FC picking up a large chunk of the remaining salary. It was clear that Robinson and the club’s front office had become estranged — but the Welsh national-teamer never broke his strong connection with the Reds’ fans. And, when he scored against Toronto in 2010 as a member of the Red Bulls, he showed just how much he respected the fans at BMO Field. Robinson entered the game as a sub and got a large ovation from the BMO Field crowd. He later got a headed goal in an easy Red Bulls win, but after the ball crossed the line Robinson refused to celebrate. “I wouldn’t celebrate out of respect for the years I had there, for the three great years I had (in Toronto),” Robinson told reporters in the dressing room after the game. Robinson was a class act in Toronto, and it’s good to see him begin his coaching career on our soil. He is currently working on getting his coaching licence. The Whitecaps also announced that they are sending over some of that last-place allocation money to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for an international roster slot and the Rapids’ second-round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft.

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