FC Dallas signs Carlos Ruiz

Just hours before the league's roster freeze deadline, FC Dallas signed Carlos Ruiz to the team on a free transfer. Will Ruiz make his return to the lineup this weekend against New York City FC?

FC Dallas signs Carlos Ruiz
Carlos Ruiz (left) during the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final | Source: Rick Yeatts - Getty Images

Just before the roster freeze date, FC Dallas made a huge splash with the signing of Carlos Ruiz just hours before the deadline. Ruiz, 37-yars-old, will be available for selection this weekend when Dallas takes on New York City FC. Ruiz is now the third-highest active goal scorer in MLS and the 11th leading scorers in league history. Ruiz signed on a free transfer.

Second stint in Dallas

Ruiz first played for Dallas from 2005-2007 after being traded from the LA Galaxy in March of 2005. In his three seasons in Dallas, he scored 31 regular season goals in 68 appearances. In six playoff games, he added five goals to the mix. He is currently the club's sixth all-time scorer and is tied for first in playoff goals with Ariel Graziani. He also assisted on nine goals in those three years.

Carlos Ruiz during a game against the Houston Dynamo in 2007 | Source: Rick Yeatts - Getty
Carlos Ruiz during a game against the Houston Dynamo in 2007 | Source: Rick Yeatts - Getty

Why did Ruiz return to MLS?

Many are probably wondering why Ruiz decided to come back to MLS at the age of 37? When speaking with mlssoccer.com, FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo explained why.

He’s not coming to a team to make some money for the last team in the league. He’s coming here to try and help this team with leadership, work, everything else he can, goals if that’s the case, to win a championship.”

Clavijo continued; “Some of the things that come when we analyze players is how long it’s going to take them to adapt. How long these guys have been playing, how long it’d take him to adapt to the league, will he help us for 10 games? Five games? Seven? So when we go back and forth we look at Carlos, he scored two goals in Trinidad & Tobago qualifiers two weeks ago, then goes back and plays and scores five goals and is active.”

“He’s proven. He’s competitive. He wants to win championships,” Clavijo said. “And maybe retiring by winning a championship can be a good thing for everyone.”

When will he play?

As mentioned above, Ruiz will be available immediately but it appears that head coach Oscar Pareja will have some decisions to make. If Ruiz is fit, will Pareja insert him straight into the lineup even though he has been with the team for only two days? Just having Ruiz on the field would allow other Dallas players an opportunity to make plays as the defense will have to respect Ruiz’s presence.

It’s a good addition for Dallas to make with five league games left in the season plus playoffs. It’s never a bad thing to introduce a veteran player to a team that is one of the youngest in the league.