HERRIMAN (Wednesday, June 1, 2022) – Real Salt Lake FW Rubio Rubin has been selected for duty by Guatemala in the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League tourney for this international window, just days after receiving FIFA approval for his one-time switch from the United States to that of the country of his Mother’s birth.
“I want to pursue my dream of playing in the World Cup, that’s the dream many of us have had since we were children, that is why I am here,” said Rubin, 26, who will miss Real Salt Lake’s weekend trip to Vancouver Saturday. “This was a difficult decision for me to make, after playing seven games for the U.S. senior national team. But now I am here, I want to excel for Guatemala. I will give everything for this team, I embrace the pressure to lead and to score goals to help us qualify for 2026. I am very appreciative of Real Salt Lake for supporting me with this opportunity.”
The 2012 U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year, Rubin appeared in 51 games for the U.S. U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams from 2011-15, scoring 20 goals for the Stars and Stripes. The Beaverton, OR native – born to a Guatemalan mother and a Mexican father – then appeared in seven matches for the USA senior national team as a European-based club player. Rubin made his USMNT debut as an 18-year old back on Nov. 14, 2014, a 2-1 defeat to Colombia, nearly providing the equalizing header in the second half.
With Real Salt Lake, Rubin came out of the gates red-hot to kick off the 2021 season, his first in Major League Soccer. The former Liga MX player scored five goals in his first eight games, including a scintillating bicycle kick goal against visiting San Jose at Rio Tinto Stadium which was later recognized as the MLS 2021 Goal of the Year. Across all competitions, Rubin owns eight MLS goals across 48 games with the Claret-and-Cobalt since the beginning of last season.
With 25 points accumulated through the first 14 games of the 2022 MLS campaign, Real Salt Lake (7-3-4, 25 pts, t-2nd West) has matched its fastest start ever (2014), despite playing six of its first nine away, with seven games against 2021 MLS Cup opponents. With nine results in its last 13 road games (5-4-4, 19 pts) dating back to late 2021, RSL has set a new standard for away form under Pablo Mastroeni, the Club’s sixth head coach in 18 seasons.
For the first time in Club history, RSL has opened the year with six consecutive sellouts at Rio Tinto Stadium – the 5-0-1 (W-L-T) record matching its best-ever 2010/2014 starts – while Mastroeni and staff have utilized 27 players throughout an injury-filled first third of the year, as the Club has seen exactly 100 combined games of player availability lost due to injury, suspension or international duty.
Real Salt Lake finished last season in dramatic fashion, booking its place in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on Decision Day before making a run to the Western Conference Final following a 14-14-6 regular-season record. Following Saturday’s trip to Vancouver, RSL will then return home on Saturday, June 18, hosting the San Jose Earthquakes to open a stretch that sees three of its following four and five of seven matches played on the Wasatch Front through July 23.