Guatemala legend Carlos Ruiz (#20) will be returning to Municipal, the club at which he started his professional career. (Photo: Mexsport)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Municipal announced Thursday that it has signed former Guatemala international Carlos Ruiz to an 18-month contract.
The forward is expected to be presented to the press on Monday, marking a return to the club from which his professional career was launched as a 16-year-old in 1995.
“I am actually coming here to work, to win titles,” Ruiz, now 34-year-old, was quoted as saying on Guatemalan radio. “I have not come to take a stroll. I want to retire in an exemplary way and being an example from the locker room to the field of play.”
In his first spell with the Rojos, Ruiz scored 69 goals in 143 matches, winning two league titles (2000 Clausura, 2002 Clausura).
He departed in 2002 for the LA Galaxy, where he enjoyed a remarkable three-year stretch, netting 50 goals in 72 regular-season games. In his first campaign with the club, Ruiz (24 goals in 26 league games) led the Galaxy to its first MLS Cup and won both the MLS and MLS Cup MVP awards.
Ruiz moved on to FC Dallas in 2005 for three seasons and continued his impressive offensive output, striking for 31 additional goals in 68 league encounters.
From there, the “Pescado” spent another year with the Galaxy, before making stops at Toronto FC (Canada), Olimpia (Paraguay), Puebla (Mexico) and Aris (Greece), Philadelphia Union (USA), Veracruz (Mexico) and, most recently, with D.C. United in 2013.
Ruiz’s career with Guatemala was unparalleled. He earned 104 caps and scored a team record 55 goals.
In four CONCACAF World Cup qualifying cycles, Ruiz accrued an astonishing 30 goals in 37 games. He has also competed in five CONCACAF Gold Cups, tallying seven goals.
After scoring his final goal in a World Cup qualifier against the United States on October 16, 2012, Ruiz retired from international football.
In April 2013, he received the first-ever CONCACAF President’s Award for his role in the battle against match-fixing.
Municipal is currently 11th in the Guatemalan table with only two points.