SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (June 29, 2018) — Seattle Sounders FC have added some depth to their front line.
Seattle has announced the signing of Raúl Ruidíaz, a 27-year-old striker from Villa María del Triunfo, Peru. The move was put on delay as Ruidíaz competed at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
However, Peru did not advance out of their group, sending Ruidíaz and his teammates back to their respective clubs early.
“Negotiations for players of this caliber are never easy, stretching across many months with the support of our entire club,” Lagerwey said. “Collectively, we were relentless in our pursuit of Raúl because he is a proven difference-maker at the highest levels of the game. Wherever he has played, he has made his teams better, scoring well over 100 professional goals in the process.”
“Most recently he played an integral role helping Peru qualify for its first FIFA World Cup since 1982, and his experience as one of Liga MX’s top performers over the past two years will aid our club immediately,” Lagerwey continued. “We’re excited to welcome Raúl to Seattle.”
Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said that Ruidíaz has a “strong resume.”
“We are very pleased to bring in a player of Raúl’s quality and add him to our current squad,” Schmetzer said. “He has a strong resume as a goal-scorer in both Mexico and South America, so we’re looking forward to seeing how that translates to MLS and helps our club succeed on the field.”
Ruidíaz scored 40 goals in two seasons with Morelia in Liga MX.
He made 72 appearances for Morelia. During his first stint with the club from 2016-17, he was on loan from Club Universitario de Deportes in Peru. However, he signed a permanent deal the following season.
He began his professional career with Club Universitario de Deportes in 2008 and stayed until 2011. He made 66 appearances and scored 16 goals before returning in 2015. During his return, he made 22 appearances and scored 22 goals.
He has also featured for U América FC, Club Universidad de Chile, Coritiba Foot Ball Club and FBC Melgar.
Since 2011, Ruidíaz has made 31 appearances for the senior Peruvian Men’s National Team. He has scored four goals against Venezuela, El Salvador, Brazil, and Iceland.
“Raúl is a player that we believe can come in and make an immediate impact in our attack,” Sounders FC vice president of soccer & sporting director Chris Henderson said. “The success he has had in Liga MX speaks for itself, and in the time spent scouting him, I’ve seen a lot of influential qualities that will help our squad not only this season, but in the years going forward.”
Seattle’s Front Line
Ruidíaz’s signing brings depth to a lackluster front line. Clint Dempsey just recently scored his first goal of the 2018 season and Will Bruin has been back and forth with injuries. Seattle is also without forward Jordan Morris for the season after he tore his ACL in the CONCACAF Сhampions League.
Lamar Neagle has also been battling injuries this season. He joins a front line that consists of Bruin, Dempsey, Neagle and Felix Chenkam.
Ruidíaz will wear No. 9.
“This club has always been a winning club,” Schmetzer said. “Having players who have it within themselves to be winners, to help their teams be successful, to have the type of character to do the little things that it takes to help their club be successful, those are all the attributes that we want to have in our big players.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Charis Wilson/Seattle Sounders FC