Will Raul Ruidiaz turn Seattle Sounders FC’s season around? Yes.
Will it be enough to save the Sounders’ season? Maybe.
At least that’s what the voters in this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll predict.
This week’s poll involved the Sounders’ newest designated player. Seattle officially announced the signing of Ruidiaz, a Peruvian international forward, last Friday, and he’s now joined the team in training. The Sounders, who began the season a pitiful 3-9-3 and are in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, are hoping Ruidiaz’s addition will provide the spark needed to jump start the season. Therefore, this week I asked readers if they thought Ruidiaz would indeed be Seattle’s savior. Here’s the poll results:
POLL: Will the signing of Peruvian international forward Raul Ruidiaz turn the Sounders’ season around? Full context and blog poll here: https://t.co/YFbod7qSqz
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) July 2, 2018
Tally it all up and 79 percent of the voters said Ruidiaz’s signing would turn Seattle’s season around. However, the vote was almost evenly split on whether that turnaround would be enough to get the Sounders into the playoffs, with 41 percent saying it wouldn’t and 38 percent saying it would. Just 19 percent said Ruidiaz’s signing would have no effect in changing the fate of Seattle’s campaign.
Ruidiaz, who warranted a reported transfer fee of $7.5 million that would be the sixth-highest in MLS history, isn’t eligible to play in games until next Tuesday, meaning his first chance to make an impact on the Sounders will be the July 15 game at Atlanta United FC. So we still have some waiting to do to see what Ruidiaz can accomplish.
But has Ruidiaz’s presence already had an impact? The Sounders played Wednesday and won 2-1 on the road over the Colorado Rapids. Granted, Colorado wasn’t the most challenging of opposition, as the Rapids went into the game just one place above Seattle in the MLS Western Conference standings — Seattle was in 11th out of 12 teams, while Colorado was 10th, and the victory actually took the Sounders above the Rapids based on goal difference. But any win is welcome for the Sounders right now. And is it just a coincidence that both goals were scored by Will Bruin, who as the lone striker in Seattle’s 4-2-3-1 formation may be the player who has to make way for Ruidiaz?
Regardless, Seattle is now just eight points out of playoff position instead of 11, which makes Ruidiaz’s task of firing the Sounders back into the playoffs a little bit easier. He’ll have half a season (17 games) to work with, and we’ll see if Ruidiaz can give Seattle a third straight season of second-half magic.