After Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC took care of business on Tuesday night, we’ve got an eight-game slate today that includes some notable storylines in both conferences. But the biggest storyline today might be the recent U.S. Men’s National Team player looking to take a path previously taken, only this time the venue is San Diego, California.
Picture this player.
He’s a talented forward with U.S. Men’s National Team pedigree who’s got experience in Europe but is in need of a fresh start for his career. So, he lands at a USL Championship squad in need of an attacking boost in a move that could be mutually beneficial for both.
Who are we talking about?
If you’re an El Paso Locomotive FC fan, you’re getting flashbacks to a year ago when Jerome Kiesewetter arrived at Southwest University Park and provided the goals that helped lead the club to the Western Conference Final of the USL Championship Playoffs last fall.
If you’re a San Diego Loyal SC fan, we’re now talking about Rubio Rubin, who on Tuesday became one of the club’s newest additions as Head Coach Landon Donovan gears up his squad for the final stretch of the club’s inaugural season.
Rubin has a strong pedigree. He scored two goals at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup for a U.S. side that reached the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Serbia in a penalty shootout. That came a year after he made his full international debut for his country against Colombia, the first of seven appearances that date to as recently as June 2018 against Ireland.
Among his teammates in the starting lineup at the Aviva Stadium in Ireland selected by current North Carolina FC Head Coach Dave Sarachan? There was a Championship alumnus in Tyler Adams, now at RB Leipzig, while recent Juventus arrival Weston McKennie and Lille OSC’s Tim Weah were alongside him as well. Current Werder Bremen forward Josh Sargent was among the second-half substitutes.
For Rubin, the road to San Diego has been paved with stops at to Liga MX’s Xolos de Tijuana, as well as a loan spell at Liga Ascenso club Dorados de Sinaloa. But making the short trip across the U.S.-Mexico border to SD Loyal could be exactly what his career needs in the same way that Kiesewetter’s profile was raised in bagging 12 goals for Locomotive FC last year.
Securing a similar opportunity to that Kiesewetter earned this year with Inter Miami CF as it arrived in Major League Soccer is a big carrot for Rubin, who at 24 years old still has plenty of soccer in front of him. If Rubin can be as productive over SD Loyal’s final six games of the regular season, it could also be exactly what the first-year Championship side is looking for as it looks to pass both Orange County SC and the LA Galaxy II for a place in the postseason.
It’s a roll of the dice for both parties, but it could provide exactly what both are looking for as they look to get something positive out of 2020.
- Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC converted two penalty kicks and saved another thanks to goalkeeper Danny Vitiello inside the opening 16 minutes on Tuesday night, paving the way to a 3-0 victory against Loudoun United FC at Highmark Stadium. PittsburghSoccerNow’s John Krysinsky has the full details and postgame reaction as the Hounds moved six points clear at the top of Group F.
- With Ever Guzman out through injury, Alex Dixon has been pushed into a more central attacking role for Hartford Athletic in recent outings. As he told the Journal Inquirer’s Adam Betz, he’s been thankful for the help the coaching staff have given him in finding the right spots to make an impact, while recently becoming the leading scorer in the second-year club’s short history.
- San Diego Loyal SC wasn’t the only team active in making additions to its squad on Tuesday. Its opponent on Wednesday night, Las Vegas Lights FC, signed an attacking piece of its own in 11-year MLS veteran Quincy Amirakwa, who has previously played for Lights FC Head Coach Frank Yallop at both the San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire.
- Orange County SC announced it will be without standout forward Thomas Enevoldsen for the remainder of the 2020 season, with the Danish striker going on loan to his home country’s Hobro IK. The move isn’t an unexpected one – Enevoldsen has been in Denmark since July for the birth of his first child – and the 2018 Championship MVP Finalist is set to return to Orange County next spring for the new season.
- Have we seen the last appearance for Tim Howard in goal for Memphis 901 FC? The former U.S. Men’s National Team shot-stopper and current 901 FC minority owner and Sporting Director was unveiled as the newest analyst for NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage on Tuesday, replacing the departing Kyle Martino.
- New Mexico United’s Josh Suggs took over second place in minutes played in the Championship’s matchup last weekend against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. As he told KOB’s Brandon Ortega, consistently earning shutouts has been a focus for United this season and will be an added focus as the side prepares to face rival El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night.
Tag(s): LA Galaxy II Orange County SC Portland Timbers 2 Rio Grande Valley FC Sacramento Republic FC FC Tulsa Philadelphia Union II Charlotte Independence Pittsburgh Riverhounds Tampa Bay Rowdies Las Vegas Lights FC Birmingham Legion FC Atlanta United 2 North Carolina FC Memphis 901 FC Loudoun United FC San Diego Loyal SC The Miami FC The Morning Tea