Rubio making his mark on the Rapids’ record books, brings momentum to Colorado’s 2022 season

Only four players have more goals for the Colorado Rapids than Diego Rubio, and three of those are club legends with their names emblazoned above the grandstand at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park.

His goal against Columbus Crew on Saturday moved Rubio to 12th for the season and 31st overall, level with Chris Henderson but behind Conor Casey (50), Paul Bravo, Omar Cummings (both 39) and John Spencer (37).

After the Chilean threw in the penalty, my colleague Marcelo Balboa said, not for the first time, “There’s your Rapids MVP and why he wasn’t an All-Star is beyond me.”

Rubio has been the only one who has been consistent in what has been an up-and-down season for the Rapids. He has scored in each of the last three games in which he has recorded two assists for the first time in an MLS encounter.

His contributions have been consistent, with a goal or an assist in each of the last eight games. Not only is his 12 goals an MLS career high, but he has never surpassed the six assists he has provided so far this season.

Only once before has Rubio scored in double figures, when he scored 11 in 2019, his first season with the Rapids. On that occasion, he played second fiddle to Kai Kamara, with the veteran scoring 14.

He is on 11 game-winning goals from 90 games for the Rapids, just one behind club leader Paul Bravo. Four of those have joined this year, again underscoring the key role Rubio has played in keeping his team within reach of the playoff spots.

The former Sporting Kansas City forward has 99 MLS starts in his fourth season in Colorado. He could hit 100 in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Among other players approaching notable milestones, centre-back Danny Wilson is one shy of his 100th appearance. Full-back Keegan Rosenberry’s next start will be his 180th in Major League Soccer.

And then there’s Zardes, a man with 94 regular season goals, the first of which came for LA Galaxy on May 11, 2013 at Vancouver’s BC Place when he defeated former Rapids goaltender Joe Cannon.

It was the last of Cannon’s 342 MLS appearances. He enjoyed 25 shutouts during his four seasons with the Rapids, good enough for third place on the club’s all-time list, one ahead of William Yarbrough.

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