Sporting Kansas City announced Tuesday that the club has acquired 22-year-old Chilean striker Diego Rubio on a loan as a Young Designated Player.
Rubio will occupy an international spot on Sporting Kansas City’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
“We are excited to bring Rubio to the club,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. “We have a lot of games coming up in a short amount of time so it will be important to get him integrated into our team and see how he performs on the field.”
Rubio has recorded 37 goals and 15 assists during a five-year professional career in South America and Europe. The forward joins Sporting Kansas City from Real Valladolid of the Spanish Segunda Division, where he made 14 appearances during the 2015-16 season.
A native of Santiago, Chile, Rubio played for 18-time Primeira Liga champion Sporting Clube de Portugal from 2011-2015, scoring 22 goals in 52 games for the club’s reserve team Sporting B. He also made 20 senior team appearances, including six in the 2011-12 UEFA Europa League as he helped the club advance to the tournament semifinals.
During his time at Sporting, Rubio was loaned to Romanian side Pandurii Targu Jiu in 2013 and Norwegian club Sandnes Ulf in 2014, where he led the team with eight goals in the top-flight Tippeligaen. He returned to Portugal for the 2014-15 campaign, finishing seventh in the Segunda Liga with 14 goals as Sporting B fell four points short of the second division title.
Rubio has earned three caps for the Chile Men’s National Team since debuting at age 18 in a friendly against Paraguay in June 2011. He appeared in two additional friendlies against France and Mexico later that year before playing eight matches at the U-20 level in 2012 and 2013, including three starts at the 2013 South American Youth Football Championship.
After climbing the youth ranks at his hometown club Colo-Colo, Rubio made his senior team debut aged 17 in February 2011. He notched six goals in 10 matches for Colo-Colo — three in the Chilean Primera Division and three in the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier international club competition. He scored his first professional goal in the group stage of the prestigious tournament against eventual champion Santos FC of Brazil. Less than two weeks after receiving his first cap for Chile, Rubio was transferred to Sporting in July 2011.
Major League Soccer's Designated Player Rule, implemented prior to the 2007 season, allows clubs to acquire up to three players whose salaries exceed their budget charges, with the club bearing financial responsibility for the amount of compensation above each player's budget charge.
Sporting Kansas City will face Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the club’s 2016 home opener at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday at 7:30 pm. CT. A limited number of tickets for the match are available via Ticketmaster.com.
Transaction: Sporting Kansas City (MLS) acquires forward Diego Rubio Kostner on loan as a Discovery Signing as a Young Designated Player.
Diego Rubio Kostner
Hometown: Santiago, Chile
Birthplace: Santiago, Chile
Citizenship: Chile, Germany
Acquired: On loan as a Young Designated Player on March 8, 2016
Previous Club: Real Valladolid (Spain)