Rubio Rubin kicked off his Real Salt Lake career last week with a stellar two-assist effort in an win over Minnesota United, and followed that up this weekend with an even better performance playing in front of RSL’s home fans, and for the first time in his professional career, in front of his parents.
Rubin scored his first two MLS goals in a 3-1 comeback victory over Sporting KC at Rio Tinto Stadium, providing another glimpse of what he can offer at the striker position. The American forward helped turn the tide in RSL’s favor for good with goals 25 minutes apart, helping the Western Conference club pick up its second consecutive win to start the 2021 campaign.
“It shows that we’ve been working hard in preseason. Even in the last game in Minnesota,” Rubin said post match. “We knew that we could come into this game and get 3 points. It was our home opener and we got the job done, so we’re happy. We were down 1-0 at some point and we fought through it, so it just shows how resilient this team is. I’m so proud of the boys.”
“We played a great team that is always a challenger for great things and we showed guts, we showed resilience, and we showed control of the game during moments of possession and other times when we had to control the game with our defending,” RSL head coach Freddy Juarez said. “I thought the guys were pretty good in all phases.”
RUBIO RUBIN x2
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 1, 2021
Rubin played distributor in a Week No. 1 win over Minnesota United, but showed his clinical ability in front of goal on Saturday. The forward connected with midfielder Damir Kreilach on both of his goals, slotting home to each corner with right-footed finishes.
Not only did Rubin get to celebrate the goals with his teammates and home fans, but also with his parents, who got to see him play as a professional for the first time. Rubin, who has been linked with a national team switch to represent the Guatemalan National Team this summer after six previous appearances with the USMNT, continued to relish the new opportunity in MLS for the first time in his club career.
“It’s very special,” Rubin said on playing in front of his parents. “I was out last season and people doubted me, but that’s okay. I had my style that I wanted to play and my family was always behind me. They believed in me and this was such a special moment to be able to come out with the win and score a couple of goals.”
“At the end of the day, some people won’t be able to understand my style, but for me that’s okay. I’m so happy to be part of this team and to be given this opportunity from the front office and the coaches that believed in me. I’m just very happy at the moment.”
#RSL take the lead 2-1!
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 1, 2021
Rubin’s ability to find the back of the net has made RSL’s attack that much more dangerous and he’s delivered two all-around strong outings so far for his new club. He’s done well to not only hold up possession and connect with his teammates, but take offensive chances when they’ve fallen to him too.
After playing a vital role in RSL’s season-opening win in Minnesota last weekend, Rubin got to give the home faithful something to cheer about after his 79-minute outing. Rubin has helped set the tone for a long and grueling MLS schedule, but being able to kick start his home campaign in style has helped provide motivation to get even better.
“It’s awesome after every goal there was this kind of chant,” Rubin said about playing his first match in front of the home fans. “I didn’t even know it was there, that was something special after the goal just to hear it in the back of the fans having their own chant and really being behind us throughout the game even on corners they were getting up it just gives you that extra motivation to want to win the ball and want to score.
“It’s just really awesome to be able to have fans again,” Rubin said. “It’s something that we’ve all missed and we’ve been looking forward to having it back for a long time. Last year 2020 was tough, not only for us but for everyone. We are just happy to be able to share moments like today winning the game and celebrating a W with them.”
With two goals and two assists under his belt, Rubin will now look to lead RSL to a third-straight win to start the new season. Freddy Juarez’s group hosts the San Jose Earthquakes at home on May 7th.