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Rubio Rubin: This season is make or break for me

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New Zealand v USA: Group A - FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Two years ago, Rubio Rubin was one of the most exciting prospects in the United States youth system. At 18 years old, he had just signed a pro contract with FC Utrecht and was already getting on the field in the Eredivisie. He then starred for the U.S. U-20 team last summer and his stock was sky high.

Then the 2015-16 happened. One that Rubin will soon want to forget. A foot injury put him on the shelf for virtually the entire campaign. Not only did it consume a year of his career, but it cost him a chance at helping his country qualify for the Olympics.

The now 20-year-old is determined for success this season. He spoke with American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta in a great interview that covers many topics that you need to go read if you haven’t already. One noticeable thing the young striker says is that this season has to be the one where he he finally breaks out and fulfills his potential.

“So far this preseason I've done a good job to show the coach I deserve to start or to play,” Rubin said. “I want to play every game and be a key player. I think this has to be my season. It’s now or never, pretty much. I want to set that pressure on me as well. I want to score goals and help the team win. That should be my mentally and just be 100% focused in doing well on the field but doing the best I can off the field. I want to take on the season head on and go all out.”

The opportunity for Rubin is right in front of him. He’s in a situation in Holland that allows him to earn important minutes in a good European league. If he can manage that and stay healthy, then the next step is there for the taking as well.

The USMNT striker pool is currently extremely thin. There is a spot for him there if he can seize the opportunity.

Rubin has had bundles of potential and a lot of expectations placed on him over the past few years. This upcoming season will be one for him to shine and prove a lot of people right.