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Rubio adds depth for Sporting Kansas City

New forward Diego Rubio added some much needed depth at center forward but may only be at SKC through the end of June.

Rubio was at practice Tuesday but did light fitness to get ready
Rubio was at practice Tuesday but did light fitness to get ready
Thad Bell

The biggest hole in Sporting Kansas City's depth chart was filled (at least temporarily) with the addition of Chilean forward Diego Rubio. Sporting KC's manager Peter Vermes has built depth across the board with the lone exception of center forward for the 2016 season.

There are now layers of wingers, midfielders and defenders but with the departure of Nemeth, 19 year-old Dainel Salloi was the only true forward on the roster after Dom Dwyer.

Sporting Kansas City has a number of teams that play styles that are close or easy to adapt and have players they are interested in. "We have what we call shadow teams," Vermes said. "There are basically different countries that we have shadow teams that have players that we like and if something occurs then we can go right to our list and he was definitely on the list."

"We wanted to add another forward to our roster. As tough and durable as Dom is, we've got to give him his moments where he gets rest and he continues to stay hungry," Vermes explained. "The thing with Diego is he has a very similar frame to what Dom has and has similar qualities so it's not a big difference in how we play up there when we add somebody in."


Rubio comes to Sporting KC via loan. "We have him through June 30th and then we have an option if we want to keep him," Vermes stated. "The option goes two ways, we can exercise the option and keep him the rest of the year or we can purchase his rights also."

"Taking him on loan gives us a really good chance to take a good look at him for the next couple months to see if he really fits to what we want," Vermes added. "We would have done it for six months in January but it just took too long to get the deal done."

Where does Rubio fit in?

When asked where he could play, center forward, wing, midfield, Rubio responded, "Any, I play in the attack, I like to play in the attack, be close to goal." He described his style of play as, "I like to be close to the goal, score goals, to shoot, to help the team a lot, to press a lot."

"His position is center forward," Vermes responded to the where Rubio could play question. "That is where he operates the best. Not to say he couldn't do the other but what we brought him in for is the center."

"He's explosive, he's got very good pace, he's got pretty good soft feet and he has an aggressiveness and hunger to score goals," Vermes replied to questions about Rubio's style of play.

How long before fans see him?

Vermes predicts it will take 3-4 weeks to fully integrate him but added, "The good thing is he has been training so it's not like we are starting from ground zero in regards to fitness."

Of course he may be on the bench sooner than the 3-4 weeks in case of emergency or to get him some time at the end of a match.

Any more players in this window?

"We're always looking but it's not necessarily a mission to get someone in this window at the moment. It doesn't mean someone doesn't pop up and we make a decision to do something," Vermes said.

Rubio in his own words

"When they say that they want me I was of course really happy to come here, you know a big club in the United States so I want to come here. "

"I heard this is one of the biggest clubs in USA, they have big fans, they have a fantastic stadium."

First thought on arriving in Kansas City? "I want to go to bed to go sleep."