Ruiz back with Union, quashes lingering Mexico rumors
CHESTER, Pa. — Carlos Ruiz is back from the Gold Cup and says he’s here to stay.
Contradicting last week’s report in a Mexican newspaper that stated Ruiz will likely rejoin his old team, Puebla FC of Mexico’s Primera División this summer, the Philadelphia Union striker told reporters Tuesday that he hasn’t heard from any other clubs about possible transfers.
“Yes, in Mexico, some teams are talking about Carlos Ruiz going back to Mexico,” Ruiz said. “But the truth is no one has contacted me. I don’t know if they are going to contact me later. But — I also said this to a Mexican newspaper — I’m very happy here in Philly. All of my family lives in the States and I want to make history with this team.
“We have a great opportunity for something to happen here.”
When asked about the same newspaper report, Union manager Peter Nowak declined comment, saying, “The transfer window opens soon, so there will be rumors there.”
The transfer window opens July 15.
Nowak did add, however, that it was the Union’s intention for Ruiz to stay at least through the 2011 season when they signed him.
“I think everyone is happy with his performance,” Nowak said. “Carlos is a different player. You can say whatever you want, but the guy knows what he’s doing.”
Ruiz showed his kind of quality during the Gold Cup, when he captained Guatemala out of group play and into the quarterfinals, where they lost to Mexico, 2-1, on Saturday. “El Pescadito” finished the tournament with a pair of goals, but was upset his team couldn’t advance further.
“It’s frustrating because, first of all, we lost against Mexico — that’s something extra,” Ruiz said. “And I think we did a lot of great things in this tournament, but we’re still making the same mistakes. And sometimes, I think, we don’t learn from the past. That’s something I need to talk about with my teammates on the national team.
“But right now,” he added, “I’m focused on my teammates on Philly.”
Ruiz, who hasn’t played for the Union since his golazo gave Philly a 2-1 win over Chicago on May 21, is hoping to take out some of his frustration on opposing MLS teams, now that he’s back with the Union this week.
Nowak indicated he may want to rest the striker for Wednesday’s game against Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park (7:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live), but Ruiz is hoping that’s not the case.
“No, no — I’m ready to go,” Ruiz said. “This is not the time to rest. After the season, we’re gonna have two months to rest. This moment is to work hard.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DaveZeitlin.