Seattle's standout striker has been a notable absence throughout Seattle's preseason training camp, as he remained in his native Peru due to hold-ups with the process of trying to obtain his green card. The issue wound up dragging on long enough into preseason that Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer even told reporters on his last media availability that "my head might pop off of my body" if Ruidiaz wasn't able to join the club soon.
It appears Schmetzer will finally get his wish according to Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey, who told reporters on his Friday video call that Ruidiaz is indeed slated to touch down in Seattle later in the day and should be able to joining training camp early next week after completing quarantine protocols. He was also able to acquire the green card, giving Lagerwey some added flexibility with international spots that the GM said he expects to take advantage of in 2021.
"Delighted. Delighted," Lagerwey said of Ruidiaz's impending return. "Certainly we are delighted he's coming home. And he has a green card, so that means we have three foreign spots available to improve the roster as well, all of which we expect to use at some point this season."
Ruidiaz is one of the top No. 9s in the league, with 33 MLS goals to his name since his arrival to the club in 2018. He's also quickly established himself as one of the most lethal postseason goal-scorers in league history, with nine career goals in 10 career MLS Cup Playoffs matches, helping Seattle win MLS Cup in 2019.