Philly Sports Live

Gone Fishin’: DC United Sign Ruiz


DC United announced yesterday that they have claimed former MLS Golden Boot Winner, Guatemalan international and former Philadelphia Union striker Carlos Ruiz, who returns to MLS after a year in the wilderness of the Mexican second division. Known as “El Pescadito,” Ruiz became as famous for his goal-scoring acumen as for his cheating and dirty play, deliberately injuring players with reckless abandon.

Despite his reputation for dirty play and questionable morals, Ruiz was a celebrated striker for the Los Angeles Galaxy & FC Dallas. He won MVP, Newcomer of the Year & the Golden Boot with 24 goals in 2002, his first season in LA, and tied with Taylor Twellman for the Golden Boot the following year. He was traded to FC Dallas 2005 for the first allocation selection, which LA used to select Landon Donovan.

Ruiz returned to the Galaxy in 2007, but struggled with injury and never regained his form. He was sent to Toronto FC in 2008, played in only ten games for the Canadian side, and was cut to provide cap space to sign Dwayne de Rosario.

After a largely unsuccessful stint in Europe, Ruiz returned to MLS in 2011, signing with the Philadelphia Union, where he scored six goals in 14 games, but never gelled with the team and was sent to the Tiburones Rojas of Vera Cruz in July of that year. Following the end of the Mexican season, Ruiz returned to Municipal in Guatemala, where his career began.

As a returning former MLS player, Ruiz was subject to allocation, with DC United claiming the striker. Sixteen of Nineteen MLS clubs passed on him. he made $200,000 in Veracruz, and is expected to make about half that in DC.

United’s last allocation selection was former US international Charlie Davies, who himself was a notable diver during his MLS stint.

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