As had been rumored for the last few days, Sporting Kansas City have acquired Chilean striker Diego Rubio Kostner from Real Valladoid in the Spanish Segunda Division. The change is that he is not being bought, but rather brought in on loan.
“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’s arrival will be pending his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and he will occupy an international roster spot. Sporting KC cleared two international spots by releasing Marcel de Jong and loaning out Bernardo Anor to Minnesota United (NASL).
Over his professional career Rubio has tallied 37 goals and 15 assists. He appears to play center forward, which is exactly what Sporting KC will be in need of to get Dom Dwyer some rest throughout the season.
His loan makes sense for Valladoid because he had just signed a four-year deal with the club in the offseason but he has yet to really catch on, making 14 appearances but not scoring any goals. As for Sporting KC I’m not sure it makes as much sense. Instead of getting a player that they can develop for years he’ll just be on the team for the duration of the loan, which wasn’t disclosed.
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The team did confirm that Diego Rubio will occupy a young Designated Player spot. As we confirmed before, based on him being 22-years-old, he will account for $200,000 against the salary cap. We won’t find out his official salary until the MLSPA releases those numbers later in the season.
This will take up Sporting’s 3rd and final DP slot (Matt Besler and Graham Zusi occupy the other two). However, with all the targeted allocation money out there Zusi or Besler could always have their contracts bought down to acquire another DP.
There is always the possibility at the end of the loan that Sporting will have the option to purchase Rubio. However he can only use the Young DP designation until he’s 23-years-old, after that he would just be a regular DP if his salary exceeds the league maximum. A loan isn’t the worst thing in the world, as if it doesn’t work out there is no further commitment. However, if there is no option to buy and Rubio does outstanding, they’ll just be driving up his value if they want him in the future.
UPDATE: Sam McDowell reports that the Rubio loan only lasts through June 30, 2016 and that there is an option to purchase at the end of the loan.
Rubio will wear the number 9, which is fitting since that’s the position he plays on the field. Last year Krisztian Nemeth wore number 9, so lets hope he can capture some of that magic. For more details on Rubio, check out our piece from last week when it was rumored he was coming to the club. We’ll have more on the signing in the coming days.