Peru forward Raul Ruidiaz (11) celebrates scoring a goal against Iceland during the second half of an international friendly on March 27, 2018, in Harrison, N.J. The Seattle Sounders signed Ruidiaz to a designated player contract Friday. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Peru forward Raul Ruidiaz (11) celebrates scoring a goal against Iceland during the second half of an international friendly on March 27, 2018, in Harrison, N.J. The Seattle Sounders signed Ruidiaz to a designated player contract Friday. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Sounders sign Peru striker Ruidiaz as designated player

The 27-year-old led LigaMX in goals in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons while playing for Morelia.

Associated Press

TUKWILA — Raul Ruidiaz is known for scoring goals every imaginable way. The struggling Seattle Sounders will be thrilled if he can score a few for them.

The Sounders have signed Peruvian striker Ruidiaz to a designated player contract. The Sounders hope Ruidiaz can provide a spark as they attempt to defend their Western Conference title.

Seattle announced the deal Friday following Peru’s exit from the World Cup. Ruidiaz was on the roster for the Los Incas, but he didn’t see the field in any of the three group stage games. Ruidiaz immediately left Russia for the Pacific Northwest, posting images on social media from the Seattle area.

“Offensively, I think I can help out by seeking out the spaces and be able to find them,” Ruidiaz said through a translator following his first training session with the team Friday morning. “Scoring goals, it’s the most beautiful thing. You celebrate them whatever way they come.”

Ruidiaz is coming off two seasons with Morelia, where the 27-year-old led LigaMX in goals in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Ruidiaz had 19 goals last season.

Ruidiaz’s signing in Seattle has been expected for a few weeks after his previous club tweeted a thank-you to the striker earlier this month.

He will be eligible to play for the Sounders after July 10.

“It still helps the team knowing he is here and knowing he’ll train a little bit and help the squad,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. “It’s still a boost. He played in Morelia with a 4-2-3-1 (formation), and that’s how we play.

Ruidiaz will join a Seattle attack that has struggled from the start after forward Jordan Morris was lost for the year to a torn knee ligament before the MLS regular season began. The Sounders have just 11 goals in 12 games, eight fewer than any other team in the league.

“Does hit fit in with Will Bruin, does he fit in with Clint Dempsey? All those things we’ll see on the training field,” Schmetzer said. “What you see on film is he’s a really fantastic goal scorer.”

The Sounders have scored more than one goal three times in 12 games. Seattle’s three wins are tied for second-fewest in the league.

How quickly Ruidiaz is able to help turn things around will ultimately determine whether the Sounders can continue their streak of making the MLS Cup playoffs every season since joining the league in 2009.

“Anytime I join a team, my objective is to help a team gain a star on their badge,” Ruidiaz said.

Seattle general manager Garth Lagerway is counting on it.

“I think it’s about believing in ourselves,” Lagerway said. “What I think introducing Raul now may do is just give us that little spark of ‘Hey, we’re really good. We just have to put this together on the field and play together a little bit.’”

Asked about his favorite way to score, Ruidiaz replied, “If you ask me specifically, I have more goals that I score with right foot. But I have goals that I score with other areas of my body, as well.”

Internationally, Ruidiaz is best known for scoring the controversial goal in Peru’s 1-0 win over Brazil in the group stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario that knocked the Brazilians out of the competition and advanced Peru to the knockout round. Ruidiaz scored using his right hand to help direct a cross into the net, but it was missed by officials.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Jackson players surround the plate to congratulate teammate Kaila Zellmer for hitting a home run during the game against Glacier Peak on Thursday, April 28, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jackson softball seeks both historical 3-peat, new legacy

The T-wolves are looking to make history with a 3rd straight 4A title, but this year’s team largely features a whole new cast.

Meadowdale’s Tresley Love grimaces as she leans across the finish line for a photo finish with Sehome’s Jayda Darroch during Eason Invitational track and field meet on Saturday, April 23, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State track and field preview: A look at highly-ranked local athletes

A list of every local state qualifier with a top-five time or mark in their classification.

Cascade's Ashlyee Bloch attempts to tag out Snohomish's Camryn Sage Thursday evening at Phil Johnson Ball Field in Everett, Washington on May 19, 2022. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 14-7 to claim the NW District 1 3A Championship title. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
State softball preview: A look at the area’s state-bound teams

Nine local high school softball teams are playing in their respective state tournaments this weekend.

Free close up on golf ball on green grass photo, public domain sport CC0 image.
State golf: Kamiak boys bring home 2nd-place trophy

A look at the top local finishers as the boys and girls state golf tournaments conclude.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox can’t hold early lead, lose to Indians

Everett scores four in the first inning, but Spokane comes back for a 6-5 win.

Oakland Athletics' Elvis Andrus (17) greets Christian Bethancourt (23) at the plate after Andrus hit a two-run home run to score Bethancourt during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Mariners fall into last place after loss to A’s

Seattle loses two of three to Oakland and has now lost eight of its past 10 games.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 16-22

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 16-22. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Community roundup: Locals bring in haul of NWAC softball honors

Plus, EvCC Hall of Fame and coaching news, and Lake Stevens graduate wins Big-12 conference championship.

Seattle Seahawks linebackers Cody Barton (57) and Jordan Brooks, right, run a drill during NFL football practice Monday, May 23, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Different feel at new-look Seahawks OTAs

The team opened offseason workouts Monday without departed stars Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.

Most Read