After an offseason of taking care of some defensive problems, the Philadelphia Union stepped it up on Tuesday to try to bolster their offense.
The signing of Guatemalan international forward Carlos Ruiz gives the Union one of the best strikers MLS has ever seen. “El Pescadito“ is a proven MLS talent with 82 goals in 155 games.
WATCH: Ruiz Highlights
There are a lot of things to like about this signing:
At age 31, he’s not on the downside of his career, so he should have some good years left.
He didn’t leave MLS at his best when he moved to Paraguay in 2009, so in that sense he might feel he has something more to prove.
Having played in MLS, he knows what the league and many of its players are about. He won’t have to be acclimated like other international players.
He comes on a free transfer, so Philadelphia give up nothing to get a proven goal scorer.
With Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga on board, Ruiz won’t have to be “THE MAN.“ He won’t have to lead the league in goals scored for this signing to pay dividends, but Union fans can surely be hopeful that Carlos will hit double-digits in goals scored.
Just his presence on the field will give Union opponents someone else to watch, which means more room for Mwanga and Le Toux to operate. As an added bonus, Ruiz could be a very good teacher for Mwanga.
Ruiz was better in his first stint in LA (where he scored an amazing 50 goals in three seasons) than he was in Dallas from 2005 to 2007, but 31 goals in a three-year stretch for FCD is more than respectable. While an abbreviated second stay with LA and an even briefer stint in Toronto didn't work out, Ruiz proved he still has the ability to score by tallying 20 goals in 66 appearances over the last two years overseas.
Philadelphia would obviously love to see the Carlos Ruiz of 2002 and 2003, but if the 2005-2007 version shows up it would still be considered a successful signing. If Ruiz can play at a high level in 2011, the club’s offense might be as improved as the defense this season.