After a full morning of swirling rumors, D.C. United announced today that Jalen Robinson has been signed as the team's seventh homegrown player. Robinson is a defender who is in his sophomore year at Wake Forest, having gone there after graduating from the D.C. United Academy and Mount Saint Joseph High School. Director of Youth Development Sonny Silooy had this to say about Robinson:
Jalen is a modern defender. He is physical, fast and a smart soccer player that can play in different positions on the back line. We are excited to see another Academy player sign with our first team
Robinson primarily played center back in college and in the D.C. United academy, but has also seen time at right back and at defensive midfield. He projects to be a fullback in Major League Soccer, but I would not be surprised to see him get some time at center back throughout the course of his career; he is the same height as the LA Galaxy's AJ DeLaGarza.
While he projects mostly as a backup (and eventual replacement) for Sean Franklin, perhaps Robinson will be given a chance on the left in training camp to see if he can challenge Chris Korb and Taylor Kemp for the spot. At the first least, this should solidify Korb's position as a left-side-only player should Franklin get hurt, which is the side from which his better play has come.