Defender Kevin Ruiz (pictured) has started 11 games in the 2016 Guatemalan Apertura for Suchitepequez.
MAZATENANGO, Guatemala – Earlier this year, after a 33-year wait, Suchitepequez (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) finally earned a Guatemalan league title. Now, it seeks to advance in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, concluding Group H play with two matches against FC Dallas (1-1-0, 4).
The Venados will pay a visit to the MLS power Wednesday at Totoya Stadium and then the sides will meet again in Guatemala City’s Estadio Mateo Flores on October 20.
In its only two games thus far -- both against Real Esteli -- Suchitepequez won 1-0 at home on Kevin Ruiz’s injury-time goal and drew 1-1 in Nicaragua.
Goal-scorer Ruiz is eager to get the series started.
"We are motivated to face FC Dallas,” the 21-year-old defender told CONCACAF.com. “It’s a great team and we are prepared in order to make history. It's a huge responsibility to represent Suchitepequez and the whole country in such an important tournament.”
Suchitepequez currently sits 10th in the 2016 Guatemalan Apertura table with a 4-2-6 record. On Saturday, it dropped 3-2 decision at Marquense as Fredy Lopez and Sergio Tagua scored in a losing effort.
"The team is leaving behind the results in the local tournament, just like we did before facing Esteli,” said Ruiz, who has started in 11 games. "Today, we only focus on getting a good result in the United States.”
Ruiz is one of the ten players to have emerged from Suchitepequez's youth ranks to travel for the Dallas encounter.
"Playing in these tournaments inspires us,” he finished. “It’s satisfying to take our football beyond our borders. It’s a showcase that we must seize if we want to take the step of playing abroad.”