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.