Saturday's match between FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy will be the second time Carlos Ruiz has returned to Carson, Calif. and The Home Depot Center since his trade to FC Dallas at the end of March, but the first time he has his former team, the Galaxy. Ruiz is poised to make a triumphant return, but will not celebrate if he happens to score out of respect for the Galaxy fans and his old teammates. Ruiz made that claim in a press conference for the Los Angeles fans a week after he was traded.
The match will also see the top two teams in the Western Conference square off in a key early season battle. FC Dallas sits atop all of Major League Soccer with a 3-0-1 record for 10 points, while Los Angeles sits in second place in the Western Conference with a 2-1-0 mark for six points. FC Dallas is off to a magnificent beginning, tying for the second best point total in MLS history after four matches. Of the other four teams FC Dallas is tied with, three of those went on to win MLS Cup - the San Jose Earthquakes in 2003, the Kansas City Wizards in 2000 and the 1997 D.C. United in 1997. The all-time best start to a season happens to be the 1996 Los Angeles Galaxy, who started the season 12-0 during the league's inaugural season. That Galaxy team lost to the eventual MLS Cup Champion Chicago Fire in the Western Conference Finals.
Heading into the match, Ruiz and the player he was essentially traded for (Landon Donovan) each have two goals and two assists, although Donovan has recorded his two goals and two assists in just two games played. The two superstars rank tied for fifth in the league in goals and tied for third in assists. Ruiz has already matched his assist total for all of last season with the Galaxy.
The match will be on Saturday, April 30 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. It will begin at 9 p.m. (CST) and will be televised in Dallas on FSN Southwest.
Team awaits official arrival of Roberto Mina
Roberto Mina made his unofficial FC Dallas debut on Monday, April 25 at SMU during the team's 4-2 victory. Mina arrives in Dallas after a long negotiation process and visa problems that took several months to tie up. However, despite the long journey from Ecuador to Dallas, he didn't take long to notch his first goal in FC Dallas hoops. Just four minutes into the match with SMU, Mina headed a ball on a nice centering pass from Philip Salyer into the back of the net. He is a big, strong forward who uses his size and muscle to create open space and beat his marker around the goal.
The team is still awaiting a few details to be finalized before they officially announce him as a roster player. He wore No. 9 at the SMU scrimmage and is scheduled to wear that number throughout the 2005 MLS season.