The Seattle Sounders saga of acquiring Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz came to an end Friday morning as the team brass rolled out the striker they have been chasing for a long time.
The team announced the signing of Ruidíaz as the club’s newest Designated Player to a $14 million dollar contract that will run through 2021, according to league sources. The 27-year-old comes to Seattle from Liga MX side Morelia, where he spent the last two seasons as one of Mexico’s elite goal-scorers.
Ruidíaz earned Campeón del Goleo titles for the 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura by leading each competition in regular-season tallies and has recorded 40 Liga MX goals in his two full seasons for the Michoacán side (including playoffs).
The Sounders are ( 3-8-2, 12 pts ) and in grave need of a shot to the arm to prevent them from missing the playoffs for the first time in club history. Because multiple factors have contributed to the clubs present state of affairs, injuries, lack of finishing and World Cup call-ups, the solution will not be as simple as acquiring Liga MX’s most prolific goal scorer in the last two years.
Given the fact that Ruidiaz will not be available until the July 15th game if the immigration process goes according to plan the Sounders need to quickly asses what is important to them as a collective unit and not fall into a one-man will save our season frame of mind.
The Sounders first challenge will be Saturdays 1:30 p.m. home Darby match up with the Portland Timbers (6-3-3, 23pts). The Timbers are fifth place in the 12 team Western Conference and nothing would be better for the 10th place than a win over the I-5 Rivals.
Ruidíaz has 31 career caps and four goals for the Peruvian National Team. He made his international debut on June 7, 2011 against Japan before being called into Peru’s 2011 Copa América squad that finished third, with Ruidíaz starting and logging 90 minutes in a 1-0 Group Stage loss vs. Chile.
In the 2016 Copa América Centenario held in the United States, Ruidíaz made three appearances for a Peruvian side that advanced to the Quarterfinal Round, thanks to a goal by Ruidíaz in a 1-0 win over Brazil in the final match of the Group Stage. Most recently, he was named to Peru’s roster for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, making substitute appearances in two Group C matches for his nation versus Denmark on June 16 and France on June 21.