American Exports: US U-20 Rubio Rubin goes 90 in Dutch debut for FC Utrecht victory
AMSTERDAM – US Under-20 international Rubio Rubin went the distance up top on his Eredivisie debut as FC Utrecht hit late to pull out a rainy 2-1 home victory on Sunday over Willem II.
With several Utrecht attackers on the injury shelf, the 18-year-old Oregon native was thrust into the starting lineup by manager Jan Wouters and responded with a solid outing. Once in each half, Rubin got wide for a dangerous low cross that was nearly put into the net by a Willem defender.
Rubin's best chance to score came via a defensive flub that allowed him to waltz in alone from the right near the hour mark. However, the former Portland Timbers academy prospect momentarily had trouble getting the ball out of his feet on the wet turf and ended up rushing a shot just wide.
Moments later, Rubin picked up a cheap assist on the opener when his partial whiff on a difficult-to-reach centering feed ran through for Jens Toornstra to curl home. Willem II tied the score with a quarter-hour remaining, but sub Leon de Kogel bundled home a misplayed cross at the far post with two minutes left to give Utrecht their first win of the young season.
Next door in Germany's DfB-Pokal first round, Bobby Wood went 85 minutes on left wing as 1860 Munich advanced with a 2-1 rally win at Holstein Kiel.
In neighboring Belgium, Sacha Kljestan came on for the final dozen minutes of Anderlecht's 2-2 fightback draw at Westerlo. The result not only kept the Jupiler League three-peat artists unbeaten through four rounds, it nudged them back into first place.
To the north in Norway, Andrew Jacobson played all 90 minutes and Michael Stephens went 87 as Stabaek struggled to a 3-1 home loss against Odds BK.
The troubling run of Rosenborg continued, with Mix Diskerud & Co. taking a 3-1 defeat at Brann on the chin. The US midfielder pitched in with 79 decent minutes of work, but the Troll Kids ended up falling for the third time in four Tippeligaen matches to slip 14 points off the top.