Jamaican forward Saeed Robinson's speed and versatility have made him an invaluable component in Colorado Springs Switchbacks coach Steve Trittschuh's weekly lineup shuffle.
Trittschuh knew Robinson's speed would tax the Los Angeles defense two weekends ago so he slated the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Grand Canyon University alum for the start. He recorded an assist on the game-winner in the 10th minute.
He used his speed along the outside and sent crossing passes to the middle for forward Mike Seth (two goals) in that victory.
"He made me look pretty smart," Trittschuh said.
In a 2-0 road win over Vancouver on Sunday afternoon, Robinson (three goals, two assists) came onto the field toward the end and quickly punched holes in the Whitecaps defense, especially as they tired while down a man for much of the United Soccer League game.
And while it may prove frustrating for a player who wants to start every game, it shows how big a role Robinson plays for second-place Colorado Springs (13-8-7) heading into Saturday's regular-season home finale against 10th-place Seattle (9-11-8).
"Whether he starts or not isn't really about him but more about the team we're playing," Trittschuh said. "If it's better for him to start, he will, but sometimes he is more valuable to us coming on late when the defenders have tired. We feel we can play him anywhere."
"I would definitely like to start more," Robinson said. "But that is not my decision. I think I bring a lot of energy and speed to the team whenever I am in.
"I would like to score more goals but I will contribute however I can."
His speed with and without the ball was noticed by Trittschuh at the same Ventura County combine where the Switchbacks found midfielder Rony Argueta in late 2014. Robinson started his career as a defender and that has made him into a sound two-way player.
"His speed with the ball makes him one of the faster players at this level," Trittschuh said. "We have talked to him about being more aggressive attacking with the ball and having faith that with his speed, he can turn the defender."
His speed is well known and opposing players often play off him when he collects a pass, allowing him space to start counterattacks into the opposing zone. If they play him tight, he can create that space, making him dangerous.
"With his skill, he can really create with and without the ball," forward Aaron King said. "He has a really bright future."