Guatemalan striker Carlos Ruiz, who qualifies as one of the Top 5 villains in MLS history for his dive-y, cheap-shotting, continuously complaining style of play, is back in the league again for the first time since 2011.
DC United acquired the scrappy forward through the league’s allocation process—an acquisition mechanism for former MLSers who left for a transfer fee or U.S. internationals.
Apparently—and somewhat surprisingly given Ruiz’s MLS strike rate—multiple teams ahead of DC in the allocation order passed on the player.
Sure, Ruiz sometimes provokes opponents into rages in which they are prone to doing things like this*:
But he is a proven goalscorer who, at 33, probably has a good season or two left. It’s surprising that a bunch of teams would pass on him. In 2002, Ruiz scored 24 goals for LA and won the regular-season and MLS Cup MVP awards, leading the Galaxy to their first MLS championship. He is ninth all time on the MLS goalscoring list and during his last spell in the league, in 2011 with Philadelphia, he bagged six goals in 14 appearances before jumping to Mexican side Veracruz.
He also has an impressive 54 goals in 104 international appearances for Guatemala.
Should be interesting to see how he and his sometimes devious ways fit in with DC and their straight-shooting coach, Ben Olsen.
*We in no way condone Clark’s outrageous behavior in the above clip, but two thoughts on the incident: One, it’s the only time Clark has ever done something even remotely like that in his career, and we’d be willing to wager Ruiz did something fairly objectionable to provoke it. Two, notice how Ruiz grabs his head and starts rolling around in apparent agony—after the blow clearly struck him in the shoulder. El Pescadito, he’s a slippery one.