U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team forward Rubio Rubin was recently voted as the 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year joining such esteemed names (and former Residency players) as Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley on the winners’ list. The Oregon native left the cloudy skies and mountains behind to join the U-17 Residency Academy for the 2011 Fall Semester and quickly emerged as an impact player. During last year’s Nike International Friendlies, Rubin helped the U.S. strike quick against Brazil, scoring a goal in the second minute to boost the team to a 3-1 win and the tournament championship. The versatile forward continued to grow during 2012, adding eight more goals to his U-17 stat line.
ussoccer.com caught up with Rubin following Tuesday’s training and fired off a handful of rapid-fire questions to a find out a little bit more about the promising young striker.
ussoccer.com: How long have you been playing soccer?
Rubio Rubin: “I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4 years old.”
ussoccer.com: Do you speak any other languages?
RR: “Yeah, I speak Spanish. My dad is Mexican and my mom is Guatemalan.”
ussoccer.com: Has anyone in your family ever played professional or college sports?
RR: “No, no one has played. My dad played a little soccer when he was little, but not much.”
ussoccer.com: What is playing on your iPod right now?
RR: “Kendrick Lamar and his song ‘Poetic Justice.’”
ussoccer.com: What is your favorite subject in school?
RR: “I like to be challenged, so I’d have to say Math.”
ussoccer.com: Do you have a nickname?
RR: “They call me ‘Rubes.’”
ussoccer.com: Who is your favorite U.S. National Team player?
RR: “I like Clint Dempsey because he’s always scoring goals and always doing the right thing. He’s a good player.”
ussoccer.com: What is your favorite movie?
RR: “I’d have to go with ‘Holes,’ the Disney movie.”
ussoccer.com: What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled?
RR: “Probably Spain because of the beautiful weather. I’ve been there twice and it’s pretty nice. It’s by the ocean and when we had our days off we would go to the beach and enjoy it.”
ussoccer.com: What is your favorite food?
RR: “I’ll say Asian food. My mom always makes Chow Mein. ”
ussoccer.com: What is the thing you’re most excited about for the 2012 Nike International Friendlies?
RR: “Trying to win it again. That’s the most exciting part, just trying to repeat what we did last year and prove to everyone that it wasn’t a fluke.”
ussoccer.com: Do you have a favorite sport other than soccer?
RR: “I have always loved basketball because I’d always play one-on-one with my brother. Basketball is pretty fun and I watch the NBA.”
ussoccer.com: If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would you choose?
RR: “Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez from Manchester United. He barely gets any chances to start for Manchester United, but when he does get the chance he makes the most of it and scores a goal. He has two world-class players ahead of him in [Wayne] Rooney and [Robin] Van Persie, but he just goes in and does his job. His mentality for every game is unbelievable.”