MLS- Philadelphia Union

Philly Union sets sights on Carlos Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz 1 (ISIphotos.com)

The Philadelphia Union's need for a goal-scoring forward has led them to a familiar face in MLS circles, an enigmatic but dangerous striker who could provide the spark up top the Union desperately needs in year one.

The Union has filed a discovery claim on former MLS MVP Carlos Ruiz and is trying to sign the striker before the close of the April 15 transfer window, Sources within MLS told SBI on Thursday. Ruiz is currently playing for Mexican First Division club Puebla.

Philadelphia had been rumored to be pursuing former D.C. United striker Luciano Emilio, but with D.C. United holding his rights and seeking compensation for those rights, the Union has turned its attention to Ruiz.

An MLS Cup winner and League MVP with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002, Ruiz has scored 83 goals in parts of seven MLS seasons. He most recently played for Toronto FC in 2008, before heading to Paraguay to play for Olimpia. Ruiz signed with Puebla last summer and has scored six goals for the Mexican club since joining.

Ruiz's last two seasons in MLS were uneventful, but he has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in Mexico, establishing himself as a regular starter for Puebla. Ruiz's days could be numbered at Puebla though, with American striker Herculez Gomez hitting his goal-scoring stride, having scored eight goals in 10 matches.

What do you think of this development? Think Ruiz can help the Union? Not sold on him still being a top goal scorer in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Ruiz isn't good...

    Carlos Ruiz is not good. He always gets acclaim by pundits, but he actually is awful on the pitch. Wayyy past his prime.


  • Clayton

    Cooooool. I would love to see Carlos back in MLS. That dude is one tough son of a gun. Is Puebla the same team that H. Gomez plays for?

    I’ll never forget the goal he scored to win MLS Cup for LA on Golden Goal – wow. And the bicycle kicks he’s nailed. What a great pro! I’m pretty sure he had to use shoes that were three sizes too big for him to tryout growing up in Guatemala. Good luck Carlos

    By the way, Golden Goal should be the rule for every extra time session. If you want excitement and suspense – there it is.


  • Unclebp

    tell you what, nowak sure has some crazy ideas. i love the union, and am a sob, and am not really sure what nowak’s really thinking. go young for the future? use experienced players to teach the kids? engage the media in crazy maradona type ways? who knows what that man is thinking. it’s pretty awesome (or at least interesting). i mean….suck it and keep sucking it.


  • DadRyan

    I have a conspiracy theory. Ives really does hate DCU despite all of his claims that he doesn’t. He broke the Szetela story… Now he’s got this in contrast to everything that’s been reported at SI today… Hmmmm… I’m pretty sure JSC is on to something. As much as I’d love to see Luci get some playing time, I’d rather see him in Dallas or some other far off locale where I won’t miss him..

    @Ives:this is a joke. Please don’t ban me again…:)


  • JoeW

    I can’t believe most of the posts against Ruiz talk about his diving and flopping. That’s the least of his evil as a player. He’s just plain dirty. He punches people and knees them in the kidneys when the ball is elsewhere. Some forwards flop, but during his time in MLS he was arguably the dirtiest player in the league, bar none.

    I think this is a negotiating ploy by Nowak. I think Nowak wants Emilio (who is a better fit for Philly’s style of play this year), Emilio clearly wants to play in MLS (still owns a house in DC he hasn’t sold) and has indicated he wants to play in Philly (but turned down an opportunity to play in Dallas). Nowak likes to compete in EVERYTHING. If you and he were walking in the parking lot to the door of a restaurant, he’d have to race you to be first–not b/c he’s hungry but b/c he wants to win at everything. I’m going to be shocked if he signs Ruiz over Emilio. Ruiz is not a good Nowak player who always admired guys like Brian Carroll and Alecko Eskandarian the most–players he praised for their “honest effort” and hard work and teamwork. Does any of that sound like Carlos Ruiz to you?


  • Kung Fu Kangaroos

    I thought that Emilio (and other out-of-contract players) would be available via an allocation draft? Similar to US Nats coming to MLS from Europe are done via allocation? I thought that was one of the compromises that got into the CBA in-place of “free agency” that the players wanted? If DC wants compensation, then it sounds like the old way of doing things. Or perhaps Emilio doesn’t have the required number of years in MLS?


  • irishapple21

    This has got to be a Nick Sackiewicz decision. Ruiz is done. Philly is putting together one of the worst MLS teams of all-time. Even worse than the Red Bulls last season.


  • huricano

    Ruiz is good. I used to root against him at LA, but he can only help the Union. He’s got to be a top 10 CONCACAF striker from the last 5 years. Ives, who would be your top picks in that category?


  • Brian

    Who else here wanted to buy Ricardo Clark a beer after he kicked Carlos Ruiz?


  • Brian

    I applaud you sir. The Little Fish and the Seattle Flounders. Match made in heaven


  • Liverpool!

    Who doesn’t hate DCU? Including about 3/4 of your own fans this year. You guys are gonna suck almost as much as Philly…


  • Joe from Philly

    My only complaint about what Rico did that day, was that he forgot to wear his steel toed shoes (kidding). If they sign him, it is going to hurt to try to cheer for a dirty old fish (not kidding). As a Union season ticket holder and SOB since 2007, I’m torn. Maybe extra beer will help me on game day…


  • joe k

    does montero dive much more than the average striker? it didn’t seem terrible when i’ve seen him play (including the red bulls game). ljundberg, on the other hand, is a whiny dive machine


  • Myles B

    Does Toronto still have his rights if he comes back to MLS though? I say MoJo can at least redeem himself a little bit and hamstring Philly like we did to Chicago for him!


  • DadRyan

    Ha. Uh… Liverpool sucks this year. And last. Hey, at least the new kits are nice looking though…LOL.


  • chupacabra

    It wouldn’t be the first time. They both played for the Galaxy until 2004. Watching them was like that scene in Animal House where the Deltas do the Gator.


  • Tim M.

    If the free agents aren’t offered any sort of new contract by the clubs holding their rights, the club then forfeits the rights by a certain date and that player, such as Emilio, is free to sign with any club within MLS


  • Liverpool!

    Wow. 2nd place last year and at present only 4 points from top four. And you think that sucks? Good luck with your club then mate. You won’t be seeing that part of the table for a LONG time.


  • Joamiq

    From what I’ve seen, he dives more than the average MLS striker. Maybe not more than the average striker in other places, though…


  • Jonthan

    Carlos Ruiz has still got it. He’s played well in Paraguay and Mexico since leaving Toronto FC.

    He has demonstrated the ability to dominate MLS and has one of the best goal per minutes played averages in the history of the league. Would be a great pickup for Phily.


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