With a desire to build more chemistry as the U.S. U-20 squad heads to New Zealand for this summer’s FIFA World Youth Championships, Utrecht forward Rubio Rubin was named to both that squad as well as Jurgen Klinsmann’s senior team last week.Rubin began camp with the full National Team in Aarhus, coming on as a 67th-minute sub for Aron Johannsson in the team’s 3-2 defeat to Denmark. He then headed west to join Tab Ramos and the U-20s, captaining the side and playing 75 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to England at Home Park in Plymouth on Sunday.
Striker Rubio Rubin has seen regular time in full USMNT camps, yet is still age-eligible for this summer's U-20 World Cup.
The 19-year-old then turned right around and rejoined the senior team Sunday night in Zurich ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Switzerland.
Twice capped by the senior side, Rubin had a strong desire to be a part of both camps this week and he credited the plan Klinsmann and Ramos devised with helping him make an easy transition.
“Jurgen managed it well with Tab,” he said. “I was happy to go in and play against England and coming back now to get ready for Switzerland, it’s kind of cool to do both things. I want to prepare myself for the U-20 World Cup – that’s big for me and for the team – but being with the senior team is important so we can develop chemistry as well.”
While the Beaverton, Oregon, product’s travel plans were set and discussed before the camp, those of fellow forward Jordan Morris altered unexpectedly Sunday.
In camp with the U.S. U-23s, the Stanford striker scored the opening goal in the side’s 5-2 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 27 in Tuzla. Expecting to prepare for the team’s second friendly versus Denmark in Copenhagen on Tuesday, Morris instead was summoned to Zurich to replace Johannsson, who was ruled out of the Switzerland match with an infection.
“It was a great experience in Bosnia,” Morris said from Zurich, where he arrived Sunday. “I think it’s good in gearing up toward the Olympics to get a core group of guys together. We had a great game there and continue to play well. That said, it’s an honor to get called up to the full team and something I dream about all the time. It’s tough leaving those guys [in Demark] because I want to play with them as well, but it’s such an honor to come here, continue to work hard and grow as a player.”
Like Rubin, Morris’s call isn’t the first for the Seattle, Washington product. He made headlines last September when he was invited to camp ahead of a friendly against the Czech Republic and became the first collegiate player to earn a senior team cap since Ante Razov in 1995, coming on as a substitute in last November’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland.
College forward Jordan Morris is part of the U-23 MNT's plans for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers this fall as well as a potential long-term striker for the full MNT.
Having previously played with both the U-20 and U-23 sides, Morris said that having the teams on the same page creates continuity but also helps to set goals for players.
“When you’re on the U-20s or U-23s there’s always something to strive for,” Morris added. “That gives players something to work on, when they’re not in camp, they have stuff to work on to make that next jump to the full team. That unity is very special because it gives them that desire to grow as a player. That can be making the first team, getting into these camps and hopefully getting some playing time.”