HOUSTON – Five-and-a-half years ago, Ricardo Clark and Carlos Ruiz were the primary actors in one of the most vicious on-field moments in MLS history, the former delivering a malicious kick to the latter to earn what was then a league-record nine-game suspension.
On Saturday night in Houston, there were no signs of lingering resentment, only reconciliation. Clark and Ruiz palled around after the Dynamo's 2-0 win over D.C. United, leaving the field all smiles with each other’s jersey in tow.
The message from both? Let bygones be bygones.
“Everything is in the past. In soccer, sometimes you make mistakes on the field,” Ruiz told MLSsoccer.com. “We talked a little bit [coming off the field]. We have a lot of respect for each other, so we changed jerseys and everything is good.”
Both confirmed that Saturday was the first time they’d spoken since the incident, and Clark had nothing but good things to say about the source of his ire back in October 2007.
“Whatever happened is in the past. I have a lot of respect for him,” Clark said. “He’s one of the pioneers in this league. He’s done great things in his career. I felt privileged to have his jersey and wish him all the best in the future.”
“It’s cool, man. We’ve moved on from everything,” he continued. “I think he’s still going to do big things.”