Forward Carlos Ruiz returned to the training field for FC Dallas in their first session at the new Pizza Hut Park on Monday, where a large group of fans gathered to watch Colin Clarke put his team through their paces. After the training session, Ruiz answered questions as to why he was not present at the Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
"I'm tired -- I've played many games, made many trips and the truth is it was going to be very difficult to travel to Guatemala on Thursday and return to Columbus for the game on Saturday. The truth is that this year I've felt a lot of fatigue. I've had a lot of games with my club and my country's national team," Ruiz said to MLSnet.com
Watching Ruiz in training, he appears as tired as he says he is. His energies seem exhausted and it could be time to take a break during the week, including in training sessions such as Monday's, where he seemed to lack the force to really strike the ball.
"These training sessions I take very seriously, because I'm really trying to be in good physical condition and I'm going to get there," Ruiz said.
Dallas general manager Greg Elliott said that the communication between Ruiz, the coaching staff and the front office is at a good point, after he missed the All-Star Game.
"I think that Carlos is going through a bad moment in his personal life. When you have a problem like that, it immediately affects your playing skills and that's why we had to sit him out for a game, to ask him what was wrong with him and for him to tell us his problems," Elliott said. "We let Carlos know that we were there for him to support him in any way we can, and that all he had to do is communicate with us, in order for us to help him."
Elliott said they spoke to Ruiz before the All-Star Game.
"We had a serious conversation, we gave him permission to go home to Guatemala in order to fix some things and unfortunately he had to miss the All-Star Game. And as you can see today, he's reporting to practice with our team in Frisco, the first team practice in our new stadium," Elliott said.
"We need to keep Carlos happy on the field, happy with his soccer and see him again scoring into the other team's goal. Carlos has been a little low on his scoring average, he is a guy that scores a lot of goals and he cannot spend much time without scoring."
There was considerable speculation around the All-Star Game that Ruiz would be fined or suspended for not attending the match, but this was rejected by the Guatemalan international.
"I know there are journalists who try to dig deep for news, but sometimes by doing that ... it hurts people. I've spoken with that person and I've told him; the truth is that if he wrote it, it's only because someone told him -- that's the problem. The only thing I can say is that no one has told me anything [about a fine or suspension]," he said.
Luis Lara is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.