Ruiz to make Guatemala return

Carlos Ruiz (white jersey) announced on August 7, 2014, that he is coming out of international retirement and will play for Guatemala in the 2014 Copa Centroamericana. (Photo: Mexsport)

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Carlos Ruiz announced Thursday that he will come out of international retirement and return to play for Guatemala in next month’s Copa Centroamericana.

After meeting with members of the national team coaching staff, the 34-year-old striker said he will accept an invitation from manager Ivan Franco Sopegno to play in the championship for Central American national teams, which will double as a qualifying competition for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

The forward closed the curtain on his Guatemala career following a 3-1 loss to the United States in a World Cup qualifier for Brazil 2014 on October 16, 2012.  In that game, he scored a Guatemalan-record 55th goal in his 105th appearance. 

"Given the situation Guatemala is in at this moment, I see myself with an obligation to return and represent Guatemalan football," Ruiz said.  "We have a tournament that we can qualify for again, which is the region’s most important championship.”

The Chapines failed to qualify for the last Gold Cup, after falling to Panama (3-1) in the match for fifth place at the 2013 Copa Centroamerica in Costa Rica. 

"Dreaming big, I hope to win the Copa Centroamericana and taking Guatemala to a Copa America would be extraordinary," Ruiz expressed.  "I've always seen the team as a call to war, as a soldier, not turning your back on your country.”

Earlier this year, after a decade spent with clubs in North America, South America and Europe, Ruiz joined Guatemala power Municipal and qualified for the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League.

Guatemala will open its Copa Centroamericana campaign against El Salvador on September 3 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C.