Head Coach - Carl Robinson
Birthplace - Llandrindod Wells, Wales
Hometown - Llandrindod Wells, Wales
Citizenship - Welsh
Seasons with Whitecaps FC - 2012, 2013
Acquired - 2012.01.20 (assistant coach), 2013.12.16 (head coach)
Previous club - New York Red Bulls (MLS)
After serving as Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s assistant coach for two seasons, Carl Robinson was appointed the 15th head coach in club history on December 16, 2013.
A former English league and Major League Soccer central midfielder that made over 50 international appearances of Wales, Robinson brings seven years of MLS experience as a player and assistant coach to the ‘Caps head coaching gig.
Robinson, 37, first joined Whitecaps FC as an assistant coach in January 2012 after a distinguished playing career that included more than a decade in the top two divisions in England, as well as five seasons in MLS with Canadian rivals Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls. Additionally, he served as a player/assistant coach in his second and final season in New York. Robinson holds a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Pro License – the highest and final coaching qualification available.
The Welshman joined Toronto FC for their inaugural MLS season in 2007 and served as co-captain in each of his three seasons with the club. In total, Robinson made 74 appearances for the Southern Ontario outfit and was twice named the club’s most valuable player. In 2010, Robinson moved to New York Red Bulls, where he made a total of 12 appearances for the MLS Eastern Conference outfit before deciding to hang up his boots at the end of the 2011 campaign.
Prior to moving to MLS, Robinson spent 12 years playing in England, having started his career as a youth trainee at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Between 1995 and 2002, Robinson made over 180 appearances for Wolves, even though the midfielder made his English league debut while on loan with English League One club Shrewsbury Town FC during the 1995-96 season.
On July 24, 2002, Robinson moved to England’s South Coast when he joined Portsmouth FC on a free transfer. He was part of the Pompey side that won promotion to the English Premier League during the 2002-03 season, with the midfielder making 20 appearances for the club. His time with Portsmouth included loan spells away from Fratton Park with five different English League Championship clubs.
They included Sheffield Wednesday FC and Walsall FC during the 2002-03 campaign and Rotherham United FC, Sheffield United FC, and Sunderland AFC in the 2003-04 season. Robinson made a permanent move to Sunderland on June 10, 2004, where he added to his seven loan appearances with a further 50 appearances in one-and-a-half seasons with the Wearside club. He helped the North East English outfit win promotion to the English Premier League as 2004-05 champions of the English League Championship.
He remained at Sunderland until January 17, 2006, when he moved to East Anglia to join English League Championship side Norwich City FC for an undisclosed fee following a loan spell with The Canaries that season. He remained with Norwich City for another 12 months, earning a total of 54 appearances for the club, before moving to MLS and Toronto FC.
A native of Llandrindod Wells, Wales, Robinson made 52 senior international appearances for his country between 1999 and 2009. His senior international debut came as a late substitute in qualifying for the 2000 UEFA European Championship (EURO 2000) in Belgium and the Netherlands, as Wales earned 2-1 away win over Belarus on September 4, 1999.
The midfielder went on to represent his country in three FIFA World Cup qualifying campaigns (2002, 2006, 2010) and a further two UEFA European Championship qualifying campaigns (2004, 2008). He also appeared for Wales at the U-18 and U-21 international levels.
Born October 13, 1976, Robinson is married to wife Laura and has two children named Lowri and Milo.