Seattle Sounders sign Peruvian international forward Raul Ruidiaz

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

The Seattle Sounders signed Peruvian international forward Raul Ruidiaz to a Designated Player contract on Friday morning, putting an end to weeks of rumors.

“We’re very excited to be able to add Raul to our team and we’re excited to have him come to Seattle,” general manager & president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “We need, maybe, that one, true difference maker up top, and hopefully Raúl will be that.”

Ruidiaz came to Seattle directly from Russia, where he participated with Peru in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He took the field off the bench in a couple matches, but Peru were unable to advance past the group stage. In all, the 27-year-old Lima native has 31 caps for Peru, including four goals.

“This club has always been a winning club,” head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Having players who have it within themselves to be winners, to help their teams be successful, to have the type of character to do the little things that it takes to help their club be successful, those are all the attributes that we want to have in our big players.”

Ruidiaz will be available for selection once the Secondary Transfer Window opens on July 10 and figures to slot in at the striker position for Schmetzer. Despite his 5-foot-7 frame, Ruidiaz is a true No. 9 who was the top scorer in Liga MX with Morelia twice in four seasons. He scored 39 goals in 68 matches with the Mexican club, who he joined after stints in Brazil, Chile and his native Peru.

Seattle's 11 goals are the fewest of any team in MLS and the team sits 11 points behind Vancouver, who occupy the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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