In an interview with LA Galaxy Insider on April 8th, former Galaxy and FC Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz confirmed that he has officially retired from soccer after a 23-year professional career. He also told Adam Serrano in the same interview that he plans to pursue a career in broadcasting as well as open up a youth soccer academy in the future.
Ruiz had his greatest success with Los Angeles, especially during the 2002 season when he won the MLS Golden Boot (most goals) with 24 goals and led the Galaxy to their first MLS Cup victory….scoring the match winning goal in extra-time.
He was traded to FC Dallas (FCD) in 2005 and played with them until the end of the 2007 season, scoring 36 goals in regular season and playoff competition for club. He then surprisingly returned to FCD last September to reinforce the squad for their playoff run, which unfortunately ended in a two-legged loss to eventual champion Seattle Sounders.
Ruiz was one of the most controversial players in MLS history. He truly was one of those players you love if he plays on your team and despise if he is an opponent. He doesn’t have many fans in Houston, especially because of the bust-up with Ricardo Clark in 2007 that resulted in a 9-match ban for Clark that caused him to miss the 2007 MLS Cup final.
Ruiz was also a constant thorn in the side of the United States National Team. He scored 3 goals against the U.S. in World Cup Qualifying campaigns, most recently last March in a 2-0 win in Guatemala. Ruiz ends his career as the all-time leading goal scorer in FIFA World Cup qualifying as well as the all-time leading goal scorer for Guatemala with 68 goals.
There is an inside joke among U.S. and MLS fans about being “CONCACAF’d” when something maddening happens to our domestic teams when playing in an international Confederation match. If there was a dictionary description of this term, Carlos Ruiz’s picture would probably be front and center in the description. Best Wishes.