Boston Bolts Integrate Academy, League Two Squads in Forming Player Pathway
THE CLUB HAS PRODUCED TOP TALENTS MILES ROBINSON, JUSTIN RENNICKS IN RECENT YEARS
Miles Robinson is one of the most exciting American center backs in Major League Soccer. Drafted with the second overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, the 6-foot-2 defender quickly impressed in USL Championship loan spells with both Charleston Battery and Atlanta United 2.
In 2019, the 22-year-old broke through to the Atlanta United's MLS side, becoming a mainstay for one of Major League Soccer’s top clubs. Robinson started 33 of 34 regular season matches for the Five Stripes, and was named to the 2019 MLS Best XI. His club performances earned him his first two appearances with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
But before Robinson’s rise, the Massachusetts native spent much of his youth career within the Boston Bolts organization. When the club fielded a side in USL League Two for the first time in 2016, Robinson had the chance to develop against some of the country’s top young players.
“We joined League Two to expose our players to the next level,” said Boston Bolts CEO Brian Ainscough. “Most of the team is made up of former Bolts youth players who are now in college, or our current top U19 players. Our academy players often get the opportunity to train with the League Two squad.”
The addition of a League Two side to the top of the club’s development period helped its talented players bridge the gap between the youth and professional levels. Players like Robinson, recent United States U-20 international Justin Rennicks, and Mayele Malango all benefited from competing with the Bolts in League Two.
Rennicks played for the Bolts in the 2017 and 2018 League Two seasons, and he used the platform to propel himself to involvement with the U.S. youth national team program and a Homegrown Player contract with the New England Revolution. The 20-year-old then made his first big splash in the national consciousness at last year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, scoring a memorable game-winner against France to send the United States into the Quarterfinals of the tournament for a third successive edition of the tournament.