Clemson's Robbie Robinson goes No. 1 in MLS SuperDraft


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(Clemson athletics-Melina Alberti)
(Clemson athletics-Melina Alberti)

Clemson junior forward Robbie Robinson was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday by expansion team Inter Miami CF, out of Miami, Florida.

He is the program's first No. 1 selection.

Robinson was honored as the nation's top player in 2019 last week with the MAC Hermann Trophy, only the third player in school history to win the award. He compiled one of the finest seasons in program history, with the junior scoring 18 goals, contributing nine assists and tallying a nation-leading mark of 45 points. Robinson’s spectacular season also garnered him honors as First Team All-American, First Team All-South Region, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and a two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Week.

Robinson’s career at Clemson came to a close with a total of 58 points accumulated off of 24 goals and 10 assists. Robinson’s 2019 season stats made him the nation’s outright leader in points and points per game, along with placing him in a tie for first for goals and penalty kicks. Robinson has top-25 single-season marks in Clemson's program record book for goals (tied-nineteenth) and points (tied-fourteenth).

Robinson signed as a Generation Adidas athlete, which means his contract does not count toward Inter Miami's club salary.

Teammate Tanner Dieterich also went to an expansion franchise in Nashville at No. 28 overall (round two).

The three selections thus far in the 2020 SuperDraft raises the program’s total to 25 SuperDraft selections since 2000. With Robinson going in the first round, Clemson now has seven first round selections in program history. The 2020 MLS SuperDraft is the seventh consecutive year in which a Clemson player has been taken in the event.

With Inter Miami using their first overall pick and first-ever MLS Draft selection on Robinson, he becomes the second athlete in Clemson history to be taken first in their respective sport’s professional draft. Kris Benson was the first selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1996 MLB Draft.

Following Thursday’s draft results, Head Coach Mike Noonan has now coached 14 players into the MLS/USL system while at the helm of Clemson’s program.

“You’ve been a joy to watch and we’re excited for you to bring your skills to our city - it’s an exciting time for us,” Inter Miami owner and soccer legend David Beckham said on Robinson. “We are excited about you being able to contribute to the team and develop as a player in our club.”

Dieterich, a native of Nashville, Tenn., is heading home to play with one of the league’s newest clubs. Dieterich enters the professional ranks after suiting up for Clemson in 74 matches. Dieterich was a captain for the program the past three seasons and capped his senior season with three goals and a team-leading mark of 10 assists. For his consistent excellence, Dieterich earned second team All-ACC honors in 2019.

Mbaye, a native of Dakar, Senegal, will now join Toronto FC after four excellent years as a part of the Clemson defensive unit. Mbaye, who played the most minutes of any Clemson player during the 2019 season, was named a third team All-American, first team All-South Region, first team All-ACC and the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Mbaye will now join Patrick Bunk-Andersen, a former defender for the Tiger selected by the side in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

The third and fourth rounds of the MLS SuperDraft will take place on Monday, Jan. 13. Selections for the final two rounds will be made amongst league and team officials. Fans wishing to follow along will be able to via mlssoccer.com.

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