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Sources: Rubio Rubin to meet with Guatemalan federation as USMNT works to keep him in the fold


Rubio Rubin is in the midst of a breakout season with Real Salt Lake, and his goal-scoring exploits have not only pushed his name back into the headlines, it has also helped generate interest from multiple national teams hoping to secure his allegiance.

The former U.S. Under-20 World Cup star is set to meet next week with Guatemalan federation officials about playing for the Guatemalan national team, sources have confirmed to SBI. To do so, Rubin would require a one-time switch due to his previous ties to the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Rubin has made seven appearances for the USMNT, dating back to his debut as an 18-year-old in 2014, but he has not been called up since 2018, and has yet to be part of a camp under current USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter.

While that may be the case, sources tell SBI that U.S. Soccer has been in touch with Rubin’s representatives about the 25-year-old remaining in the U.S. Soccer setup.

The Guatemalan federation has made a strong push for Rubin, whose mother is Guatemalan, with federation president Gerardo Paiz recently revealing Rubin’s interest in playing for the Chapines.

“I spoke with Amarini and he told me that the boy is interested, the mother is Guatemalan and will begin to do the paperwork to obtain his passport,” Guatemalan Football Federation president Gerardo Paiz told ESPN Guatemala. “The father is Mexican and he will support Rubin in everything he needs. When the mother obtains the papers, and he (Rubio) can start to do his paperwork.”

Rubin has pushed his name back to the forefront thanks to a strong start to his career at Real Salt Lake, which he joined in the winter. He has scored four goals and added two assists in five matches for RSL, emerging as one of the most dangerous attackers in MLS in the early part of the season.

Rubin’s breakout with RSL came after he spent time playing in USL with the San Diego Loyal, a move that came about after Rubin was unable to find any interest from MLS teams last summer. Rubin scored five goals during his short stint with the Loyal, playing under head coach and USMNT legend Landon Donovan, a run that earned him a contract with RSL.

As things stand, Rubin has not made a final decision yet, but his meetings with the Guatemalan federation next week could go a long way toward helping him reach a final decision on his international future.


  1. Committing to the Chapines would ensure that Rubio will never play in a WC. It will be hard for him to make a WC with the USA but not impossible.

  2. We need this type of player. He works hard off the ball, combines well, finishes very well and has that element of unpredictability similar to Lleget. His technical ability is also very good.

    Like a poor man’s version of Harry Kane but unpredictable in the box.

    We don’t have players with all these traits combined. He might not be the fastest or strongest, but his tactical level is very high on USMNT level.

    Most of the players we have are predictable and athletic; Pulisic is excellent but he’s predictable in what he’s going to do.

  3. If he’s looking at where he has the best chance, Guatemala called in 2 CFs one based in Guatemala one who plays in the NISA for California United Strikers. Guatemala is likely to be playing Curaçao June 8 for their groups birth in the Ocho. Playing opportunities point to Guatemala meaningful game opportunities point to US.

  4. Gee, it always kinda hurts feelings when someone starts looking for another team to play for. But, until someone else seemed interested in him, we did not really think he was all that much. Maybe the coaching geniuses in Guatamela are on to something, or nah..

    Pretty much like if a girl you aren’t really that much into turns you down for someone else, after the initial hurt, you gotta think that the other guy has lower standards. Then move on to the many better possibilities out there.

  5. 5 years ago Rubio Rubin was a young prospect who showed promise based on his performance at the youth international level. He received a couple call-ups because we were desperate for forwards, and it was the hope he could help.
    Then he got injured and fell off the radar due to lack of production.
    Now he’s entering into the middle of his playing career, and has seen a bit of success in at the start of the season.
    Meanwhile the USMNT striker pool has found options. Options that are either playing consistently in better leagues, have seen stable success over multiple seasons, are younger, or a combination of all the above.
    Honestly who is Rubio’s competition….
    Weah (21) – 31 appearances & 3 goals for the French Champion.
    Sargent (21) – 70 appearances 11 goals for a B-1 club
    Dike (20) – 19 appearances 9 goals for a club poised for promotion to EPL
    Siebatcheu (25) – 31 appearances 12 goals for Swiss Champion.
    Zardes (29) – The player we all hate, 21 appearances 12 goals in same league as Rubio.
    Ferreira (20) – 2 goals for the USMNT in 2 games played.

    Any way you look at it he has been surpassed by others. If he wants to stay with the USMNT he has to realize he’s got a hill to climb to get into consideration. If he goes with Guatemala he’ll have a chance to play every international window. Good luck to him whatever decision he makes.

    • Similar to Jerome Kiesewetter, had a good run with a not good U23 team scored 4g in Olympic Qualifying. Made a couple of appearances in Jan camp. Had a couple unproductive seasons in 2Bundesliga, before venturing across the Atlantic. No real MLS interest had a double digit goal season in USL. Unlike Rubin never really got a chance for Inter Miami with all their big money signings and is now back in USL. Just how it goes sometimes a majority of YT players just usually don’t make it.

    • Rubio’s also about to get bumped out of the 9 spot on his own team by Bobby Wood, so there’s that, too. I don’t even think he’s the best striker on Salt Lake, much less for the USMNT.

      Guy is a good player, but if we’re calling him in, stuff has gone awfully awry for us.

  6. Glad he has found his game, but a solid stretch in MLS is no longer good enough for USMNT level, and that is a good thing.

  7. Nothing motivates a players more than not having ANY GUARANTEES to National Team or having the determination to prove that he belongs. Rubin seems to be enjoying the game, his place on RSL and playing like he is possessed……I love it!!!

    • I think the guy Berhalter said he made a mistake by not talking to before the NL Provisional roster came out and upsetting the player was Jozy. No evidence just a feeling, your pain my not be over.

  8. you do kind of wonder how sharp our talent eyes are when someone can’t get a MLS job last year and then torches the place after a productive USL stint.

    • Matthew Hoppe 5 goals in the Bundesliga in two weeks. IV: fluke
      Rubio Rubin 5 goals in USL in two weeks. IV: I don’t know what’s wrong with our scouting.
      After Oct 2015 foot surgery
      15/16 Utrecht 1 app. 0g 0a
      16/17 4 Teams 21 app. 0g 0a
      17/18 Tijuana 11 app. 1g 1a
      18/19 Tijuana 10 app. 1g 0a
      18/19 Dorados 18 app. 2g 1a (2nd Division)
      19/20 Dorados 24 app. 4g 1a (2nd Division)
      After surgery 85 app. 8g 2a in 4.5 seasons

      • JR, I know you haven’t forgot! This is the same person that discovered Gio Reyna. Uses phrases like “counter-gambit!” …and loves commonly used words like spread-sheets & provocation!! He didn’t want to see Dike with the USMNT because Dike didn’t score in 2 caps. U Know! The ultimate scout who says Duane Holmes is a 6?! Talks about Bobby Wood as if it’s ‘16 while calling other people fanboys in the same breath. The cool me down with hot water, guy?! Rest of us want facts and he’s newsmax! The Sultan of Swat!! The colossus of clout!! Why go down the rabbit hole route?

      • i am not making him starting 9 for the NT. i am simply saying something is wrong with your scouting if a player NO ONE SIGNED LAST YEAR comes in this year and has 4 goals in 5 games. re your comparison to hoppe, your fallacy is hindsight, we know hoppe didn’t score for like 15 games afterwards. rubin currently is like 9 goals in his last 9 games.

  9. I thought this could get interesting by the way he’s playing right now. He’d be a good option for Gold Cup competition at forward.

    • to make again one of my favorite points this would be another green sargent wood weah horvath CCV type player that got multiple sarachan caps and then disappeared for a while under berhalter. the consistency with which he ends up reversing himself is telling.

      that being said i will be curious whether this is a dest-like provocation to catch attention (since this coach responds to threats) or if he ends up playing for guatemala because he either doesn’t like how he was treated or thinks his odds are better there.

      • See stats above he couldn’t produce in Norway, Sweden, or Mexican 1st or 2nd division why should he have been called up? His 0g in 283 minutes show he deserved a call up when he couldn’t score against international powerhouses Zapatepec or Venados? How long were people supposed to hold onto his brace against New Zealand in U20 WC? Fellow forward Maki Tall scored against Myanmar that tournament should he get called up from his 3rd Division Belgian side, I mean his last goal was 4 years ago in Ligue 2 why not?

      • Sometimes I think Imp Voice and Johnnyraz are really one person with a split personality debating with one another. Although it’s a bit of a one sided debate. It’s entertaining.

      • you sound absolutely crazy if you think Rubin has done anything to deserve looks since GB has been in charge, the national team is not the playground to call up just anybody that’s hasn’t merited it, if you want to bring in younger players to get a look at them and give them a fi=ell for the set up, fine, but for a player like RR who was once a promising prospect and who had done nothing to warrant a call in until potentially now, to me there has been no problem leaving him out to find his game again! And the other players you mentioned were either injured for periods of time, had Covid, couldn’t sniff games, ala Horvath, or just needed time to find their games again just like Rubin, so this idea that Greg overlooked players and is now having to reverse his decisions sounds ridiculous. Julian Green was actually going to be called up a while ago but he sustained injuries, then caught Covid. Weah, injuries galore. Sargent was only left off of the GC roster a few years ago, and rightfully so because he looked like he wasn’t ready for that level yet,and he still has questions surrounding his consistency

      • sorry but the suggestion my list is nothing but injury omits ignores the march U23 camp he sent most of these guys to in 2019. WHEN HEALTHY. revisionist history. GB has already reversed most of his original 2019 team. it is telling he is steadily going back to sarachan’s kids. you can fib and spin all you want but he is steadily drinking coffee and waking up. make fun of me all you want but i will laugh to the bank as he calls in my proposed list of additions.

      • and johnnyraz is basically GB’s press secretary. you don’t need to know what he thinks, he’s just ventriloquizing a very wrong coach.

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