Sporting Kansas City announced Thursday that the club has completed the permanent transfer of forward Diego Rubio from Spanish side Real Valladolid. Rubio is no longer on loan and his contract with Sporting Kansas City runs through the 2018 season with a team option for 2019.
“This is good news for both the club and for Diego,” Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes said. “I give a lot of credit to our staff, which did its due diligence to get the original loan deal for Diego done. That gave us ample time to see how he would integrate within our system. We were pleased with what we saw and look forward to his continued progression with our club.”
Rubio joined Sporting Kansas City on loan in March after spending the first five years of his professional career in South America and Europe. The 23-year-old Chilean has started six of 17 appearances this season, tallying two goals and one assist in all competitions. Rubio opened his MLS scoring account in a 1-1 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 27 and notched the game-winner in extra time of a 2-1 U.S. Open Cup victory over Minnesota United FC on June 15. He then recorded his first Sporting KC assist in a U.S. Open Cup defeat at the Houston Dynamo on June 29.
A native of Santiago, Chile, Rubio has scored 39 goals and added 16 assists since turning professional in 2011 at age 17. After rising from the youth ranks to the senior team at hometown side Colo-Colo, Rubio moved overseas to Sporting Clube de Portugal, where he netted 22 goals for the club's reserve team Sporting B from 2011-2015. The forward played 20 first-team matches at Sporting while also going on loan to Romanian outfit Pandurii Targu Jiu in 2013 and Norwegian club Sandnes Ulf in 2014.
Rubio has earned three caps for the Chile Men's National Team since debuting as an 18-year-old in June 2011. He appeared in two more senior team friendlies that year before playing eight matches at the U-20 level from 2012-2013.