Diego Rubio is back with La Roja.
Chilean national team head coach Reinaldo Rueda has included the Rapids forward in his 25-man roster for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers. La Roja currently sit in seventh place in CONMEBOL qualifying after losing to Uruguay and tying Colombia. Chile hosts Peru on Nov. 13 and visits Venezuela on Nov. 17.
Rubio has previously earned nine caps for La Roja at the senior level, making his debut on June 23, 2011; this is his first senior call-up for competitive matches, though he’s made six appearances in friendlies since 2018.
Rubio’s call-up comes within days of his being selected to the MLS Team of the Week following his game-winning strike at Houston. The 27-year-old has three goals and four assists in 16 appearances for Colorado this season.
“Diego is one of the smartest forwards I’ve ever been around,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said Sunday after Colorado’s win at Houston. “His timing and his movement are so good. And today, really his timing, Cole (Bassett’s) delivery of the ball into him and the decision he makes to go himself is one where he knows he has a defender thinking about a lot of different things. It’s incredibly cunning to get himself inside there and get a look at goal.”
The goal was Rubio’s third of the season—and second game-winner—to go with four assists. Rubio appeared in 16 of Colorado’s 18 matches in 2020, starting 12 in his second year with the Rapids. He put up bigger numbers in 2019 – 11 goals, five assists in 26 games – but for Fraser, Rubio’s character allows him to contribute beyond the scoresheet.
“His unselfishness, his ability to lead the press, his timing, his work rate. He’s incredibly unselfish in what he does,” Fraser said. “This is one of the strengths of this team. There are a lot of unselfish guys on the team that are willing to do work for other guys when they need to and Diego is the first one to do that.
“What he’s given us all year is so much more than just goals. What he does is allow us to play the way that we play.”