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Rubio Rubin returns from injury, faces race to match fitness for U-23 playoff

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Rubio Rubin made his long-awaited return to the playing field today for Jong Utrecht, FC Utrecht's reserve team, after missing five months with a stress fracture in his foot. He lasted a promising 60 minutes and according to the club's matchday twitter account looked great, scoring one goal and helping on another.

Now that he's back playing, the obvious question becomes, can he make it back in time for the all-important U-23 Olympic playoff series with Colombia in three week's time?

There's no reason to think that a few weeks of playing and training shouldn't be enough to get him at least ready to play some kind of role for the U-23's. Would Andi Herzog attempt to call him up if he is ready? Would FC Utrecht agree to release him if they do call him up? So many questions and ones that will be answered in the coming weeks.

Rubin has made one substitute appearance for the U-23's this cycle after being an integral part of the U-20's World Cup quarterfinals run last year. It's also possible that Herzog and his staff deem Rubin not important enough to risk him coming back to intense action too soon. However, considering that Jordan Morris is the only true striker worth talking about in the U-23's player pool, that would be a bad decision.

Rubin is a dynamic player and one that can change any match he's put in. Even if he's only able to contribute 20 minutes off the bench, Herzog should do whatever is in his power to call up Rubin for these two matches.