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Rumor: Diego Rubio Linked to Liga MX’s Club America

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Sporting KC’s lone center forward could be on the move

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting KC Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

We were hoping for something a little more substantial after hearing rumors that Ivan Zamorano of Univision talked about Diego Rubio during last night’s Santos Laguna/Club America game. After all, I don’t speak Spanish and am unable to confirm, but MLSsoccer.com ran with it, so we’ll pass along the reporting.

Zamorano has the Sporting Kansas City center forward linked with Liga MX giant Club America. In the 24 plus hours since the comment on the broadcast, no one else has confirmed it.

Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman has indicated the team will look to upgrade the #9 and #10 spots after SKC fell out of the MLS Cup Playoffs in the first round for the fourth consecutive year.

For my money, Rubio hasn’t been bad. Over two seasons (one of which he joined late and torn his ACL) Rubio only has 1340 minutes and 14 starts. In those 14 starts, he has seven goals and two assists. Not exactly lighting the world on fire, but as our own Robert Rusert recently reported, going back to 2011 it’s the third best scoring rate of anyone on Sporting KC. Right behind Dom Dwyer’s 22 goals in 2014 and Kei Kamara’s seven in a shortened 2013 and ahead of players like Krisztian Nemeth and Claudio Bieler.

Sporting KC/Wizards Goal per Minutes Ratio

Player – year Goals in Minutes Played Ratio (1 goal every X minutes)
Player – year Goals in Minutes Played Ratio (1 goal every X minutes)
Dom Dwyer 2014 22 in 2724 1/124
Kei Kamara 2013 (short season) 7 in 1022 1/146
Diego Rubio 2017 6 in 1010 1/168
Dom Dwyer 2016 16 in 2823 1/176
Teal Bunbury 2011 9 in 1744 1/193
Krisztian Nemeth 2015 10 in 2037 1/204
Claudio Bieler 2013 10 in 2109 1/211

So personally, I’d really like to see Rubio stick around, even if he ends up not being the number one guy in the attack. Peter Vermes hasn’t shown a tendency to play new guys too heavily, so anyone Sporting KC sign will likely split time with him anyways (Gerso and Ilie not withstanding).

Additionally, Sporting have really lacked center forward depth over recent years. This year started with Rubio on IR and Dwyer as the only true CF. After Dwyer was traded, Rubio had no real backup other than Latif Blessing. While Blessing did score a brace in that role against Orlando, all his other work at CF left something to be desired. Some would say Daniel Salloi can play CF, but it seems both he and Vermes prefer him on the left wing.

But What if Club America Will Overpay?

Well, as we saw last year with Dwyer and in prior years with Kamara, Oriol Rosell and others, no one is untouchable. Club America is one of the biggest clubs in Mexico’s Liga MX and have won 16 league titles in the past. They may be very willing to overpay for Rubio.

If that’s the case, Vermes has always shown he’ll buy low and sell high. That would then leave Sporting KC wanting not only to add one #9, but potentially at least two. There is about to be some roster turnover in the coming days when options are (or aren’t) picked up. Then things will go full tilt in the next two to three weeks leading up to the MLS Expansion Draft for LAFC.

Probability: 19%

Remember kids, it’s silly season. It wouldn’t shock me if this went down, but it seems unlikely to happen. Rubio was just given the keys to the offense and despite what some might think, he didn’t crash the car. The whole team just got cold at the wrong time.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible he’s hurt by both Vermes and Heineman recently saying they are seeking out another player. Especially when PV was specifically asked about a player already being on the roster who could solve the goal scoring woes and he emphatically said “no.”

Maybe I should bump up that probability a little bit. Strikers are notoriously divas, even if Rubio hasn’t struck me in that way.

Let’s get a second source on this before we all freak out.