Despite being traded during the offseason, FC Dallas striker Carlos Ruiz is upbeat and happy to be returning back to Los Angeles and playing on Saturday night at his old stomping grounds of The Home Depot Center.
"I am looking forward to coming back to L.A., and hopefully having a good showing," Ruiz said in advance of the FC Dallas trip to Carson, Calif., to face Club Deportivo Chivas USA on Saturday evening. "Looking forward to showing what a good team we have at FC Dallas."
Chivas USA plan to make the Ruiz return a memorable one, as the fans have asked that Chivas USA eat a lot of pescadito (little fish).
"I am very happy to be returning," Ruiz said. "I hope I will get many opportunities, I want to play good and win."
Ruiz will look to again launch the FC Dallas attack of he and Eddie Johnson after the dynamic duo were held scoreless last week against the Colorado Rapids.
The U.S. international Johnson has nothing but admiration and respect for his Guatemalan international counterpart.
"He is the best striker in the MLS," Johnson said, "a guy I look up to and learn from."
FC Dallas and Chivas USA will become more then familiar with each other as they are slated to play four regular season games against each other this year.
"We are thrilled to have Chivas in the league," said FC Dallas general manager Greg Elliott. "We are excited to play in the HDC, in the Cotton Bowl and in our new home."
Another player returning to play in the HDC will be defensive leader Greg Vanney, who last played there in the farewell game for Mauricio Cienfuegos on June 11, 2004, which had a crowd of 22,774.
FC Dallas expect to have their hands full with a Chivas USA team that has bettered its performance in the opening two matches in club history. Chivas USA took an early lead against San Jose last weekend only to see their lead slip away, but showed true grit to come back and score a goal in the final minutes to tie the game and receive the first point ever for the club.
"They have changed their defense and got a good result from San Jose," said Johnson.
FCD coach Colin Clarke will have a full squad to choose from, as team captain Simo Valakari should be fit and ready for action in time for Saturday's big clash.
"Simo Valakari trained today and if he has no reaction he should be fit," said Clarke.
Ron Goode is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.