The long awaited attacking reinforcements are on the way. Sporting Kansas City officially announced today the signing of 22 year old Chilean, Diego Rubio, on loan from Real Valladolid in the Spanish 2nd Division. The young striker arrived yesterday to join Matt Besler and Graham Zusi as the 3rd and final Designated Player.
OFFICIAL TRANSACTION: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) acquires forward Diego Rubio Kostner on loan as a Discovery Signing as a Young Designated Player
Rubio comes to KC in the midst of a goal scoring drought. After signing a 4 year deal with Real Valladolid last year, he has yet to score a goal in 14 appearances with the club.
It is unknown just how much money SKC dished out for him. However, as a 22 year old, Rubio will become a Young DP. That means he will only count as $200k towards the salary cap.
There are plenty of videos of the striker on the internet, but below is a really good look at him from the 2014/2015 season.
He looks to be a true center-forward for PV's 4-3-3 system. There are not a whole lot of amazing individual efforts of him taking on several guys before scoring, but he puts himself in the right positions in the box so his teammates can find him for an easy finish. Most of these goals are from right in front of the goal. He seems to have a nose for finding the ball in dangerous spots. But this video also displays his long range ability too. If he is given room anywhere, he will have a rip himself. I mean just check out the goal at 1:05... What more do you need to see to know the talent is there?
The question then becomes about his playing time.
The loan will only be until June 30th, but there is an option for Sporting KC to purchase Rubio. That gives him 17 MLS games plus 1 or 2 USOC matches.
If Vermes is going to get a real look at this player and decide if they want to purchase him, Rubio is going to have to move over to the wing like Krisztian Nemeth was forced to. There is of course always the possiblity (no matter how small) that Vermes could break away from his 4-3-3 and try a 2 striker formation, but it is hard to see him switching things up so drastically for a 22 year old who has never played a minute in MLS.
Also like Nemeth, Rubio will wear the number 9. He is a true goal scorer so that number makes sense. It will remain to be seen if the young player can have as much of an impact on the field if he is out on the wing, however.
Follow him on Twitter @DiegoRubio_
What do you think? How will he fit into this lineup, exactly?