Rubio Rubin was expected to compete for a place in the FC Utrecht team this season, but after a broken nose in the preseason set his training back, most figured it would take some time to get his fitness back and earn a start for the Eredivisie club. It didn't.
The 18-year-old American striker started for FC Utrecht on Sunday in the club's second match of the season. And he earned an assist to boot, even if his contribution was whiffing on an attempted shot and making the slightest of contact before it rolled onto a teammate to finish.
Rubin had one great chance to get on the scoresheet, but his finish left a lot to be desired. Still, he put himself in a lot of dangerous spots and caused problems for the Willem II defense.
It's obvious that Rubin still has work to do. He's not especially polished, but he reads the game well and makes smart runs. His mobility is really impressive, as he ran in behind the defense, made space for himself in front of goal and dragged wide then played in good crosses.
Rubin has only played one professional match so it's far too early to predict greatness, or even competency. But it was a very nice debut and it was abundantly clear why both the United States and FC Utrecht have very high hopes for him.