FC Dallas inks Guatemala legend Ruiz to deal

Carlos Ruiz (white jersey) is shown above playing for Guatemala in a World Cup qualifier against visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines on September 6, 2016, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo: Juan Meoño)

FRISCO, Texas – Guatemala football legend Carlos Ruiz is returning to Major League Soccer, signing a contract to play for FC Dallas through the end of the year, the recently crowned U.S. Open Cup champion announced Thursday.

Ruiz, who turns 37 today, first joined FC Dallas in March 2005 in a trade with the LA Galaxy, the club with which he had started his MLS career in 2002.  In three seasons with FCD, Ruiz scored 31 regular season goals in 68 appearances and added five goals in six playoff games.

From there, the “Pescado” spent another year with the Galaxy, before making stops at Toronto FC (Canada), Olimpia (Paraguay), Puebla (Mexico) and Aris (Greece), Philadelphia Union (USA), Veracruz (Mexico) and, most recently, with D.C. United in 2013.

Ruiz’s career with Guatemala was unparalleled, becoming the country’s all-time leader in caps (132) and goals scored (68).

He retired from international football after striking for five goals in a 9-3 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines on September 6, 2016, a feat that made Ruiz the all-time scoring leader in World Cup Qualifying (39 goals). 

He has also competed in five CONCACAF Gold Cups, tallying seven goals.

In April 2013, Ruiz received the first-ever CONCACAF President’s Award for his role in the battle against match-fixing.

Most recently, Ruiz competed for Guatemalan power Municipal – the club with which he began his professional career in 1995 -- scoring 46 goals in 87 games from February 2014 to May 2016.

FC Dallas currently tops the table in MLS with 51 points in 29 games and shares first place with Guatemala’s Suchitepequez in Group H of the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.