Real Salt Lake signs Rubio Rubin to contract extension

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Real Salt Lake forward Rubio Rubin (14) runs in the second half during an MLS soccer match against the Vancouver Whitecaps Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Rubio Rubin has already made a big impact with Real Salt Lake in his first season with the club. Now, he isn’t going anywhere for a few years.

RSL announced on Monday that the club has signed Rubin to a multi-year contract extension, keeping him in Utah through the 2024 season with a club option for the 2025 season. After initially signing with RSL in January, Rubin has four goals and two assists in 12 matches this season.

 “I’m thankful to Real Salt Lake for this opportunity,” Rubin said. “It has been a long time since I can say a place has been my home and I look forward to continue doing the things I’ve been doing – scoring goals for this club and for the fans. Ultimately, I want to help the team win and be successful and hopefully one day winning MLS Cup. We have those ambitions as a team and I’m excited to have a place that I can work for an extended amount where I can enjoy the process of getting better every day to reach for those goals.”

Rubin, 25, opened the 2021 season with two assists in his RSL debut in a 2-1 road win over Minnesota United. He followed that up with two goals against Sporting Kansas City in his first match at Rio Tinto Stadium, leading the charge in a 3-1 victory. He has started in 11 of 12 matches for RSL this season, logging 955 minutes.

“From the day Rubio first set foot in Salt Lake he established himself as a piece of this roster that we want to build around,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “We felt based on his performances earlier this year and his previous contractual situation that it was important to reward his commitment to the team, his commitment to the club and his quality. We are extremely excited that we were able to come to an agreement to keep him in Salt Lake for a long time.”
 
Prior to his arrival at RSL, Rubin starred in the United Soccer League with the San Diego Loyal where he scored seven goals in just five matches. His short stint in California came at the completion of his contract with Club Tijuana in Mexico’s Liga MX. During his three-year run with Xolos, Rubin appeared in 21 matches and scored one goal. This past year Rubin was loaned to club-affiliate, Dorados, in the second-tier of Mexican soccer where he scored seven goals in 42 matches.

Rubin began his professional career in 2014 when he signed with FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie, scoring four goals in 43 matches with the first team. The Oregon-native then signed with Danish side Silkeborg IF in 2017 before joining Stabæk in Norway for the remainder of the season. 
 
“I’m happy for Rubio. With his quality of play, I think it’s deserved,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “He is still at a young age to continue to learn and battle, but he’s a good person that is great for the locker room and for the club. Not only did we get a good soccer player locked up for a few years, but we get a good human being that can continue to lead the culture in the right direction. I’m happy that he is going to be able to call Salt Lake home.”
 
The 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year comes with a national team pedigree, logging seven matches with the United States Men’s National Team. While with the national team Rubin has faced Bolivia, Colombia, Denmark, Ireland and Paraguay. As part of the youth national team ranks, Rubin appeared at nearly every level and was named to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad, where he teamed with former RSL forward Jordan Allen.

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