Carlos Ruiz (pictured) signed for his second stint with FC Dallas on September 15, 2016. (Photo: Mexsport)
FRISCO, Texas – For the first time since 2007, Carlos Ruiz pulled on a FC Dallas jersey, when the Major League Soccer leader and visiting Suchitepequez played to a scoreless draw in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League last Wednesday.
The 37-year-old forward, a recent retiree from international football after a legendary career with Guatemala, came close to scoring on a few occasions, but – like every other player that night -- couldn’t find the back of the net.
“The sensation of being back is great,” said Ruiz, who has four career SCCL goals – all with Municipal. “I wish I could have scored a goal, but I feel good. I need to be at this level. The football is quicker. The players are fast. I’m learning in practice how my teammates play and I need to be at 100% to help the team.”
Although disappointed not to score a fifth career SCCL goal, Ruiz gave credit to Suchitepequez, a team he faced on many previous occasions in the Guatemalan league.
“Suchitepequez defended very well,” the 2002 MLS MVP commented. “They came to do their job and they had several goalscoring chances, not many, but they had them. They were very smart in their work. They set up a defensive line of five, six or sometimes seven defenders and it was difficult to find spaces. But I congratulate them for the effort they put forth.”
The scoreless draw was a frustrating result for FC Dallas (1W-2D-0L, 5 points), which will next visit Suchitepequez (1-2-0, 5) on October 20 to determine the Group H winner.
“We have to play the same in the Mateo Flores,” finished Ruiz. “I think in the same manner we can make a difference. All matches are not the same and if Suchitepequez open themselves up more, I think we can find the spaces a little bit more clearly. We’ll see how they set up the team.”