By DAN KARELL
FC Utrecht liked what they saw in extended trials for Rubio Rubin, and decided they had seen enough to make a long-term investment in the 18-year-old forward.
The Eredivisie club announced on Wednesday that they have signed Rubin to a four-year contract, officially confirming the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team member as a part of their squad. While Rubin will mostly play with the club’s reserve squad this season, manager Robby Alflen has selected Rubin to take part in first team training a number of times already.
“Rubio is one of the biggest talents from the United States,” head of player management and scouting Edwin de Kruijff said in a statement. “He is enormously talented and we had already seen this during the first training session he completed in (our training complex). During the rest of his stay, he confirmed that positive image and created a connection between the club and himself. We see in him a great promise for the future and it is also why we have signed him for four years.”
Rubio, a native of Beaverton, Ore., reportedly has been sidelined due to a concussion and broken nose suffered in a preseason friendly match against Dundee United. However, prior to that, Rubio represented the U.S. U-20s at the Dallas Cup last May and the U.S. U-18s at the Lisbon International Tournament last June.
“FC Utrecht is a great club,” Rubin said in a press release. “The people and ambitions of FC Utrecht appeal to me. There was interest from numerous clubs from Europe, but my choice for FC Utrecht is a very deliberate. I hope as soon as possible to be in the Galgenwaard Stadium in front of the fanatical crowds, playing in the Eredivisie.”
Rubin, a graduate of the U.S. Soccer residency program, had been without a club for the past year as he underwent trials with Utrecht and contemplated his professional future.
Utrecht’s reserves, also known as Jong Utrecht, open their season on Aug. 12 against Jong Fortuna Sittard. The first team begins their 2014/2015 Eredivisie campaign on Aug. 8 at PEC Zwolle.
What do you think of this news? Glad to see Rubin at an Eredivisie club? Do you expect him to play in the first team at some point this season?
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