An experienced midfielder that has represented his native Scotland at the international level, Barry Robson became Whitecaps FC’s third Designated Player signing in the club’s Major League Soccer history on Feb. 16, 2012. The native of Inverurie, Scotland, comes to MLS after a playing career spent entirely in Britain with Scottish clubs Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, Dundee United FC, and Celtic FC, as well English side Middlesbrough FC. Having completed the 2011-12 English League Championship season with Middlesbrough, Robson joined Whitecaps FC near the start of the secondary North American transfer window (June 27, 2012) on June 18, 2012.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
2012: Robson made his MLS debut in his first eligible match for Whitecaps FC, as the midfielder started the 1-0 away win over Colorado Rapids on July 4. He then scored his first goal in MLS - and for Whitecaps FC - on his home debut, as Vancouver drew 2-2 at home to LA Galaxy on July 18. He then scored Vancouver’s first penalty in MLS that season, as Whitecaps FC defeated San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at BC Place on July 22. Robson’s first assist in MLS set up Kenny Miller’s first goal at BC Place, as Whitecaps FC drew 2-2 with Colorado Rapids on Sept. 23. He was then named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 31 after scoring a goal and adding an assist during Whitecaps FC’s 4-0 home win over Chivas USA on Oct. 3. Robson then started Whitecaps FC’s first-ever match in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Nov. 1, as Vancouver fell 2-1 at defending champions LA Galaxy.
ENGLISH LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
2011-12: In his second and final full season with Middlesbrough FC, Robson was named the club’s Player of the Year after finishing tied for second in scoring with nine goals in 39 starts for the Teesside club. This included seven goals and a club-leading nine assists in the league for Boro, as Tony Mowbray’s side just missed out on a spot in the English League Championship playoffs after finishing seventh in the standings. The midfielder scored in a pair of 3-1 victories versus Barnsley FC (Aug. 16, 2011) and Birmingham City FC (Aug. 21, 2011) before finding the back of the net in a 1-1 home draw with Millwall FC on Oct. 15, 2011. Robson scored twice, with his second goal coming from the penalty spot, during Boro’s 3-1 victory at Doncaster Rovers FC on Nov. 1, 2011. He then struck the match winner on Boxing Day (Dec. 26, 2011), as Middlesbrough won 1-0 at home to Hull City FC. That Boxing Day strike was voted Boro’s Goal of the Season. Robson’s final goal for Boro came from the penalty spot, as the North East English outfit won 3-1 at Portsmouth FC on Mar. 3, 2012. Robson also scored for Boro in both of the club’s cup competitions that year. He scored the winner in a 2-0 victory at England League Championship rivals Peterborough United FC in the second round of the English League Cup on Aug. 24, 2011, before scoring in a 1-1 away draw with North East rivals and English Premier League side Sunderland AFC in the fourth round of the English FA Cup on Jan. 29, 2012. 2010-11: Playing his first full season with Boro, Robson started all but three of 33 total appearances for the Teesside club, as they finished mid-table (12th place) in the English League Championship standings. His five league goals included the fastest-ever goal to be scored at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, as Robson scored after just 24 seconds of a 3-1 home win over Reading FC on Sept. 18, 2010. The midfielder also scored a penalty during a 2-2 home draw with Portsmouth FC on Oct. 2, 2010, before finding the scoresheet on a 4-0 away win over Bristol City FC on Jan. 15, 2011. He also scored in a pair of 3-0 victories away to Cardiff City FC (May 2, 2011) and at home to Doncaster Rovers FC (May 7, 2011). Robson also appeared in the English League Cup second-round defeat at English League Championship rivals Millwall FC, as Boro fell 2-1 on Aug. 24, 2010. 2009-10: After starting the season in his native Scotland, Robson was one of five Celtic FC players to join Middlesbrough in the January transfer window. After signing with Gordon Strachan’s side for an undisclosed fee on Jan. 13, 2010, the midfielder made his Boro debut three days later, as the Teesside club lost 1-0 at Sheffield United FC. Robson started all 18 of his league appearances for Boro that season, scoring five goals and adding five assists. His first goal in English soccer was Middlesbrough’s match winner in a 1-0 home win over Peterborough United FC on Feb. 13, 2010. He then scored both penalties in a 2-0 home win over Queens Park Rangers FC on Feb. 27, 2010, before scoring in a pair of 2-2 draws versus North East rivals Newcastle United FC (Mar. 13, 2010) and Derby County FC (Mar. 16, 2010). Middlesbrough finished 11th in the English League Championship standings that season.
2009-10: Before moving to England and Middlesbrough FC in Jan. 2010, Robson appeared in his 13th season of Scottish soccer with Old Firm giants Celtic FC. The midfielder had a goal and three assists in 10 Scottish Premier League (SPL) appearances for The Bhoys that season, with his last SPL goal coming in a 2-1 away defeat to former club Dundee United FC on Nov. 22, 2009. Robson also started Celtic’s 4-0 win at SPL rivals Falkirk FC in the third round of the Scottish League Cup on Sept. 23, 2009. His final goal for Celtic came in the UEFA Europa League, as Celtic won 2-0 at home to Israel’s Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC on Dec. 2, 2009. Celtic missed out on the knockout stages of the European club competition after finishing third in Group C. Robson’s final match for Celtic was against Old Firm rivals Rangers FC, as The Bhoys drew 1-1 at home on Jan. 3, 2010. 2008-09: In his only full season with Celtic, Robson started all but four of his 17 league appearances, as the Glasgow outfit finished second behind arch-rivals Rangers FC in the SPL standings. The midfielder scored on opening day from the penalty spot, as Celtic won 1-0 at home to St. Mirren FC on Aug. 10, 2008. He also found the scoresheet in the UEFA Champions League, as he headed home in a 2-1 away defeat to Denmark’s Aalborg BK on Nov. 25, 2008. Celtic missed out on the knockout stages of the competition after finishing bottom of Group E. Robson made a substitute appearance in the fourth round of the Scottish FA Cup, as Celtic earned a 2-1 home win over Scottish First Division club Dundee FC on Jan. 10, 2009. 2007-08: Robson started the season with SPL side Dundee United FC, where he scored 11 goals in 21 league appearances for The Terrors. Those goals included a pair of two-goal performances in a 3-0 away win over former club Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC on Aug. 25, 2007, and a 3-0 home win over Aberdeen FC on Jan. 19, 2008. He also scored a hat-trick in Dundee United’s 4-1 home win over Heart of Midlothian FC on Jan. 2, 2008. The midfielder also scored the match winner in the fourth round of the Scottish FA Cup, as Dundee United won 1-0 at Scottish First Division club Clyde FC on Jan. 16, 2008. He also appeared in two matches during the Tayside club’s run to the Scottish League Cup final that season. This included the 1-0 win at SPL rivals Falkirk FC in the third round on Sept. 25, 2007, and the 3-1 home win over Scottish First Division club Hamilton Academical FC on Oct. 31, 2007. Robson made the move to Strachan’s Celtic on the final day of the January transfer window (Jan. 31, 2008) for £1.25 million and helped the Old Firm club to their 42nd Scottish top-flight championship title after scoring two goals in 15 appearances. In fact, he scored with his first touch of the ball for The Bhoys, as he struck home Celtic’s final goal in a 5-1 away win over Aberdeen FC on Feb. 10, 2008. His other league goal was the match winner from the penalty spot, as Celtic claimed a 3-2 home win over Old Firm rivals Rangers FC on Apr. 27, 2008. Robson also scored his first UEFA Champions League goal during a 3-2 home defeat to Spanish giants FC Barcelona in the Round of 16, first leg, on Feb. 20, 2008. 2006-07: Robson made 29 appearances in his fourth full season with Dundee United, as The Terrors finished ninth in the SPL standings. Serving as club captain, his 11 league goals that year included a two-goal performance in a 3-1 victory at St. Mirren FC on Aug. 26, 2006, and a hat-trick in a 4-0 away win over Heart of Midlothian FC on Mar. 17, 2007. The midfielder also scored in the third round of the Scottish FA Cup, as Dundee United won 3-2 at home over St. Mirren FC on Jan. 16, 2007. Robson also made starts for The Terrors in the second and third rounds on the Scottish League Cup versus Scottish First Division sides Airdrie United FC (Aug. 22, 2006) and St. Johnstone FC (Sept. 19, 2006). On Feb. 1, 2007, Robson signed a contract extension with Dundee United until May 2011. 2005-06: After signing a contract extension until the summer of 2008 with The Terrors on Aug. 19, 2005, Robson made 31 league appearances for Dundee United that season, as they finished ninth in the SPL standings. His only goal that year was the match winner in a 2-1 home win over Dunfermline Athletic FC on Dec. 20, 2005. The midfielder also appeared in third-round matches in the Scottish League Cup at former club Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC on Sept. 20, 2005, and the Scottish FA Cup versus Aberdeen FC on Jan. 7, 2006. Robson also made his first two starts in European club competition on Aug. 11 and 25, 2005, as Dundee United missed out on the First Round of the UEFA Cup (now UEFA Europa League) after being knocked out on ‘away goals’ by Finland’s Myllykosken Pallo-47 after a 2-2 aggregate draw. 2004-05: Robson scored six goals in 38 league appearances for Dundee United that season, as the Tayside outfit finished ninth in the SPL standings that year. His goals that season included a dramatic late equalizer to earn a 1-1 draw at former club Rangers FC on Oct. 24, 2004, and goals in two SPL matches versus Heart of Midlothian FC (Jan. 15 & Apr. 16, 2005). He also scored the winning penalty in a 1-0 victory at former club Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC on May 21, 2005. Robson also scored in Dundee United’s run to the Scottish FA Cup final, striking the first goal in a 4-3 away win over Scottish Third Division side Gretna FC in the third round on Jan. 17, 2005. He also found the scoresheet during the club’s run to the Scottish League Cup semifinals, as The Terrors won 4-0 at home to Scottish First Division outfit Clyde FC on Sept. 21, 2004. 2003-04: After six seasons in the Scottish lower divisions with Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, Robson moved to the Scottish Premier League when he joined Dundee United for a fee of around £50,000 on May 16, 2003, signing a three-year contract. The midfielder scored three goals in 28 league appearances during his first season in the Scottish top flight, having made his SPL debut in Dundee United’s 2-1 home defeat to Hibernian FC on opening day (Aug. 9, 2003). His first SPL goal earned Dundee United a 2-2 draw at Hibernian FC on Nov. 8, 2003. He scored the first goal in a 3-2 home win over Aberdeen FC on Jan. 17, 2004, before striking the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Partick Thistle FC on Mar. 13, 2004. Dundee United finished fifth in the SPL standings that season. Robson also appeared in the third round of the Scottish League Cup, as The Terrors fell 1-0 at SPL rivals Livingston FC on Oct. 29, 2003. 2002-03: Playing his final season with Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, Robson appeared in all but two of the Highlands outfit’s 36 league matches that season, as Caley Thistle finished fourth in the second-tier Scottish First Division. His 10 league goals included the first two goals in a 4-0 away win over St. Mirren FC on Aug. 31, 2002, as well as two goals in a 5-3 home win over Queen of the South FC on Nov. 16, 2002. The midfielder also scored three goals in Caley Thistle’s run to the Scottish FA Cup semifinals. He scored the match winner in a 2-0 home win over Scottish Second Division side Raith Rovers FC on Jan. 25, 2003 before scoring twice in a 6-1 home win over Scottish Second Division side Hamilton Academical FC on Feb. 22, 2003. Caley Thistle knocked out Robson’s future club Celtic before falling 1-0 to SPL side Dundee FC in the semifinals on Apr. 20, 2003. He also made three appearances in Caley Thistle’s run to the Scottish League Cup third round after appearing in the club’s Scottish Challenge Cup first-round defeat at Scottish Second Division side Berwick Rangers FC on Aug. 6, 2002. 2001-02: Robson appeared in all but two of Caley Thistle’s 36 league matches that season, as they finished sixth in the Scottish First Division standings. His two league goals that season came in a 2-1 away defeat at Ross County FC on Sept. 15, 2001, and in a 5-1 victory at Raith Rovers FC on Nov. 10, 2001. After appearing for the Highlands outfit in the first two rounds of the Scottish Challenge Cup, Robson scored two goals in the second round of the Scottish League Cup, as Caley Thistle defeated Scottish First Division rivals Partick Thistle FC 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 extra-time home draw on Sept. 26, 2001. They reached the quarterfinals that year before falling 5-1 to Scottish First Division rivals Ayr United FC on Nov. 28, 2001. The midfielder had the winning goal in the third round of the Scottish FA Cup, as Caley Thistle won 2-0 at Scottish First Division rivals Arbroath FC on Jan. 8, 2002. 2000-01: Robson made 24 appearances during his first full season in the Scottish First Division with Caley Thistle, with his two goals both coming in victories against Alloa Athletic FC on Sept. 23, 2000, and Mar. 17, 2001. Caley Thistle finished fourth in the Scottish First Division standings that season. The midfielder also scored a late goal in the fourth round of the Scottish FA Cup on Feb. 17, 2001, as Caley Thistle drew 1-1 at home to SPL side Kilmarnock FC. He also made appearances for the Highlands outfit in the Scottish Challenge Cup and one appearance in the Scottish League Cup. 1999-2000: Robson made a limited number of appearances for Caley Thistle during their first season in the Scottish First Division. The midfielder appeared in four league matches and the first two rounds of the Scottish League Cup. He scored in the quarterfinals of the Scottish Challenge Cup, as Caley Thistle won 2-0 at home to Clydebank FC on Sept. 14, 1999. On Oct. 1, 1999, Robson joined Forfar Athletic FC on loan for the remainder of the season. He led The Loons to promotion from the Scottish Third Division after scoring nine goals in 25 league appearances that season. This included the first two goals in a 5-1 away win over Montrose FC on Jan. 22, 2000. He also scored in the first round of the Scottish FA Cup for Forfar Athletic, as they drew 2-2 at Scottish Second Division side Ross County FC on Dec. 11, 1999. 1998-99: The midfielder’s 16 league appearances for Caley Thistle helped them earn promotion to the Scottish First Division for the first time in club history after the Highlands outfit finished runners-up in the Scottish Second Division that season. He also appeared against Scottish Second Division opposition in the first round of the Scottish League Cup, as they won 4-1 at Queen of the South FC on Aug. 1, 1998, and the club’s 2-1 defeat at home to Livingston FC in the second round of the Scottish FA Cup on Jan. 2, 1999. 1997-98: After two years as a youth trainee at Old Firm giants Rangers FC, Robson began his Scottish league career when he joined Caley Thistle in Oct. 1997. His three goals in 23 league appearances helped the Highlands outfit to a fifth-place finish in the Scottish Second Division standings that season. He made his league debut in Caley Thistle’s 2-1 defeat at future club Forfar Athletic FC on Oct. 4, 1997, before scoring his first Scottish Football League goal in Caley Thistle’s 4-0 home win over East Fife FC on Dec. 27, 1997. He also scored in the second and third rounds of the Scottish FA Cup versus Scottish Third Division outfit Queen’s Park FC (Jan. 3, 1998) and non-league side Annan Athletic FC (Jan. 24, 1998).
Robson has represented Scotland at the senior international level after impressing with his country’s ‘B’ squad in Dec. 2005 and Future squad on Mar. 15, 2006. Senior: The midfielder’s senior international debut for Scotland came in a 1-0 friendly win at home to South Africa on August 22, 2007. He went on to make three appearances during his country’s qualifying campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with Scotland missing out of South Africa 2010 after finishing third in European zone qualifying Group Nine. He then made a further four appearances for Scotland during qualifying for the 2012 UEFA European Championship (EURO 2012). They missed out of qualification for Poland and Ukraine 2012 after finishing third in Group I. In May 2011, Robson made two appearances in the 2011 Nations Cup - a round-robin tournament that included the British Isles nations of Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Only days after signing with Whitecaps FC, Robson made a late substitute appearance in Scotland’s 1-1 friendly draw away to Slovenia on Feb. 29, 2012.
Robson started his soccer career in his hometown of Inverurie, Scotland, with Colony Park FC. Founded in the midfielder’s birth year of 1978, Colony Park has grown to be the largest juvenile club in the North East of Scotland and one of the largest in the country. In 1995, the midfielder moved to Glasgow when he joined the youth academy of Old Firm outfit Rangers FC. After two years with the Scottish giants, the midfielder joined Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC after not making a senior appearance for The Gers.
The midfielder was born and raised in the Aberdeenshire town of Inverurie, which is based in the North East of Scotland. He has a wife and three children.