Ruiz is on the run; we won’t be seeing him in a Galaxy jersey again.
The short second stint of striker Carlos Ruiz with the Galaxy is officially over, paving the way for the team to sign U.S. international Eddie Lewis.
Presumably Lewis could play tonight against the Fire.
Ruiz had just one goal in 10 appearances for the Galaxy this season and missed almost two months of the season after undergoing knee surgery.
The two official press releases are below, but for me the most interesting thing about the Ruiz move is that it’s an essentially an admission by the Galaxy that their “risky” move of signing a handful of expensive, big-name players this season was a failure. Did they make a similar mistake to Real Madrid in signing their version of the Galacticos?”
I asked David Beckham about that on Monday and he stiffened, looked peeved, folded his arms and said:
“I don’t see the mistake, personally – We’re good players. … It’s up to other people to make their comments about whether it’s a mistake or not.”
Here’s the Toronto press release on Ruiz’ signing:
Toronto FC announced Thursday that they have acquired forward Carlos Ruiz from the L.A. Galaxy in exchange for a first-round pick and a second-round pick in the 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft and salary budget considerations. As per team regulations contract details were not disclosed.
“We’re looking forward to bringing in another quality striker,” said manager, director of soccer Mo Johnston. “We’ve now got Barrett and Dichio who is on the road to getting healthier and this will also help bring young Ibee (Ibrahim) along properly. We’re very excited to get Ruiz in here – he holds the ball up well and is a clinical finisher.”
Ruiz, 28, is known as the best pure goalscorer in MLS history. He leaves L.A. as the second leading scorer in Galaxy history with 50 regular season goals for the club, and helped the team to victory in the MLS Cup in 2002. The forward is the all-time leader in postseason goals in MLS, and is currently 8th on the All-time goals list with 82.
Ruiz began his professional career with his local club CSD Municipal in Guatemala City in 1995. In 2000 he went to Europe and signed with PAS Giannina of Greece on loan but returned to Guatemala the following year. In 2002 he joined Major League Soccer signing with the Galaxy, and in his first season he scored 24 goals and adding one assist in 26 games. That year he was named to the MLS Best XI and named league MVP. Ruiz set a new MLS record that season for game winning goals with nine. He registered seven multi-goal games that year.
In 2005 Ruiz was traded to FC Dallas for a 2nd round draft pick and an undisclosed amount of money. After spending three seasons in Texas, Ruiz returned to the Galaxy, and in exchange, FC Dallas received allocation money and L.A.’s natural second round draft pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. The forward injured his knee in the season opener in 2008 keeping him out of the lineup for the better part of a month. His first goal of the season came July 19 in a 2-2 draw against the New York Red Bulls.
Internationally, Ruiz has been a member of the Guatemalan National Team since 1998 and is their current leading goal scorer. He has over 70 caps for his country and was a member of the squad during World Cup qualification campaigns in 2002, 2006, and is presently involved in 2010 qualification. In 2002 he scored eight goals in nine matches during qualification and again led the team in scoring in 2006, helping Guatemala reach the final phase of qualification but narrowly missing out on a chance to travel to Germany for the 2006 World Cup. However, Ruiz did make history in 2008 when on June 14; he broke Juan Carlos Plata’s all-time individual goalscoring record for Guatemala, by scoring four goals against Saint Lucia in their 2010 World Cup qualifying opening match. That feat made him the first Guatemalan player to score four times in a match as he surpassed the old mark of 39 goals set by Plata.
And here’s the (edited) Galaxy press release on Lewis:
The LA Galaxy today signed U.S. National Team midfielder Eddie Lewis. The Galaxy held the top spot in the MLS Allocation Table and have used that position to acquire Lewis, a Cerritos, Calif. native who played for the U.S. National Team in their 1-0 road win over Guatemala last night in a World Cup Qualifier. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I strongly believe that Eddie Lewis will be an outstanding addition to the Galaxy,” Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “He brings great experience to the club and will be a wonderful addition to our locker room and is a player that the fans are sure to support. I have known Eddie for a number of years, I rate him as a first class player and person and I’m honored to welcome him to the Galaxy family.”
“Unfortunately, the sport of soccer is also a business and in order to bring Eddie to the Galaxy we were required to make salary budget space available and our only available option was to move Carlos,” Arena added. “Carlos is proven to be one of the great goalscorers in the history of this league and I have the highest regard for him. We wish him the very best in the future.”
A veteran left-sided player with both MLS and European playing experience, Lewis comes to the Galaxy following a one-year stay with Derby County of the English Premier League. Prior to joining Derby, the 34-year old had stints with fellow English sides, Fulham, Preston North End and Leeds United, as well as a four-year stay with San Jose of Major League Soccer, with who he began his professional career in 1996.
After playing four years at UCLA and helping the Bruins to a 67-14-4 record during his time in Westwood, Lewis was selected by the San Jose Clash (now Earthquakes) in the Third Round of the 1996 MLS College Draft. In four years with San Jose, Lewis became an integral member of that club, appearing in 115 of the club’s 128 games, scoring nine goals and adding 35 assists. He set a career-high with 14 assists in 1997 and matched that figure in 1999 when his four goals and 14 assists in 29 games earned him a spot on the MLS Best XI.
Following the 1999 MLS season, Lewis signed with Fulham of the English First Division (now English Championship). He appeared in a handful of games in his two and a half seasons at Craven Cottage before signing with fellow First Division side Preston North End in the summer of 2002. He appeared in more than 100 games for Preston, during his three seasons with the club and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League in 2004-05, when his side were knocked off by West Ham United in the Championship Playoff Final. After that season, Lewis joined Leeds United of the League Championship and helped that club reach the Playoff Final, only to fall one step short of qualifying for the Premier League.
After two seasons at Leeds, Lewis signed with Derby County, who had just been promoted to the Premier League. He played 27 games in all competitions for Derby last season, and left the club by mutual consent earlier this month in order to sign with the Galaxy. He will join up with the rest of his new teammates in Los Angeles today after retuning from National Team duty.
A true left-sided player who is capable of playing both in midfield and at left back, Lewis has also made his mark with the U.S. National Team, with who he appeared in both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. In 81 career appearances with the Red, White and Blue, Lewis has 10 goals and 16 assists, including an assist on Landon Donovan’s goal in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the Round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup. He scored his 10th National Team goal in July when he captained the U.S. to a 1-0 win in Barbados.