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Carlos Humberto Ruiz Gutiérez (born September 15, 1979 in Guatemala Citymarker), commonly nicknamed El Pescadito ("The Little Fish"), is a Guatemalanmarker footballer who currently plays for Puebla of the Primera División de Mexico.

He is also a member of the Guatemalan national team since 1998, and is their all-time leading goalscorer.

Club career

Ruiz, born in Guatemala Citymarker, Guatemalamarker, started his footballing career in local club CSD Municipal. In 2000, he traveled to Europe to play for a short time in Greekmarker club PAS Giannina. He returned to Municipal and then signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy in January 2002. He was initially skeptical, telling The New York Times, "I didn’t know anything about MLS or soccer in the U.S. Everything we hear about Major League Soccer is not so good... We hear that all the players come here to finish their careers." However, he found the level to be better than he imagined, saying: "In the beginning, I was not happy to come here. But after a couple of games and when I see the level of soccer here, I was excited to play here." Once in MLS, Ruiz shined immediately.

In his MLS career, Ruiz has scored 81 goals in 137 regular season matches and 15 postseason goals, holding the record for the most post-season goals in Major League Soccer history.

First years in MLS and Galaxy

In his debut season, Ruiz scored 24 goals (MLS Golden Boot), leading to the MLS Cup. He was named the MLS Most Valuable Player that year. In the playoffs, he scored eight goals and added two assists, totaling 18 points and setting an MLS record for goals and points in a single postseason. In his second season, Ruiz cooled off significantly, but the forward still finished the season tied with Taylor Twellman for the league lead in goals with 15. He continued to statistically drop in 2004, scoring 11 goals. Ruiz had trials at English side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 2003-04 season.

Dallas

In 2005, when Landon Donovan expressed his desire to come back to MLS, the Galaxy traded Ruiz to FC Dallas for the #1 allocation in the MLS picking order, so that they could acquire Donovan. Ruiz finished his year in Dallas with 11 goals and two assists. During the postseason, Ruiz scored two goals in the second leg match against the Colorado Rapids but FC Dallas were eliminated in penalty kicks.

In February 2006, the MLS fully bought Ruiz's contract rights from his former Club Municipal and FC Dallas were able to negotiate a multi-year deal. In March 2006, a bicycle kick goal he scored against D.C. United was selected as the "Goal of the Decade" in MLS through online voting.

During a 2007 game against the Houston Dynamo, Ruiz was involved in a controversial incident with Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark. Following a corner kick in which the two players became entangled, Clark violently kicked Ruiz in the upper body as he lay on the pitch hoping to draw a foul. Clark accused Ruiz of kneeing him during the preceding play, and both players were sent off, with Clark also receiving the longest suspension in league history.

Return to Los Angeles

Following the conclusion of the 2007 season, Ruiz appeared to be unwilling to return to Dallas and to be holding out for a move back to the Galaxy. Earlier attempts to produce a trade faltered due to Ruiz being a grandfathered Designated player, with Galaxy already having one player in the same situation (Donovan) and, of course, David Beckham. In January 2008, FC Dallas traded Ruiz to the Galaxy for an undisclosed cash allocation and the Galaxy's natural second-round pick in next year's MLS SuperDraft. At his departure, he commented, "I did everything I could to win a championship with Dallas. Unfortunately, it didn't happen."

He spoke about Galaxy to ESPN analyst Andrea Canales: "I still think the Galaxy is the best team in the U.S. They're the best organization. The Galaxy have always had famous players. They continue to be a team that people always follow," and added his personal relief to be on the Galaxy team, "I’m so glad I came to the Galaxy and not another team, because I would have felt like I was starting over."

In the season opener, however, Ruiz suffered a knee injury and was unable to play for over a month. While Ruiz was injured, the Galaxy found unexpected striking potential in Edson Buddle and even after coming off of injury, Ruiz was notably still left off the travel roster for a high-profile game against D.C. United. He scored his first of the 2008 season on July 19, in a game against New York Red Bulls.

Toronto FC

Ruiz was traded on August 19, 2008 to Toronto FC who in-turn released Laurent Robert to make room for Ruiz. He was expected to help solve TFC's goal scoring woes as he has 82 goals to his MLS credit, but managed only five first team games, in which he scored no goals.. He was released by Toronto in early 2009 after they signed Dwayne De Rosario.

Olimpia Asunción

On January 31, 2009, Ruiz signed a contract with Paraguayanmarker club Olimpia Asunción under the request of then-coach Ever Hugo Almeida. He scored 10 goals and was a fan favourite. One of his most memorable goals was against Cerro Porteño in the derby which Olimpia won 2-0. Also he scored a hat trick against Rubio Ñu in a 5-3 victory for Olimpia

Puebla FC

Ruiz signed a contract with Puebla on June 30, 2009, as a petition of head coach José Luis Sánchez Solá. On 25 July, 2009, in a game against Tigres, he scored his first goal for Puebla on a penalty kick. He wears number 20, which is the same number he previously wore for L.A. Galaxy, F.C. Dallas, and the Guatemala National Football Team.

National team

Overall, Ruiz had earned 83 caps and 41 goals by November 2008 for his country and has played at the World Cup qualification campaigns for the FIFA World Cups of 2002, 2006, and 2010. He played his first international match on November 11, 1998, a friendly against Mexico, and scored his first goal against El Salvador at the 1999 UNCAF Nations Cup.

After scoring eight goals in nine matches during the 2002 World Cup qualification campaign and already having a successful career in the MLS, Ruiz was the focal point of the Guatemalan team in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, leading the team in scoring as they reached the final stage of the CONCACAF region.

On June 14, 2008 Ruiz broke Juan Carlos Plata's all-time individual goalscoring record for Guatemala by scoring four goals against Saint Lucia in Guatemala's 2010 World Cup qualification opening match. Ruiz reached 39 overall goals, four more than Plata's total. Ruiz also became the first Guatemalan player to score four goals in a World Cup qualification match.

On September 10, 2008, Ruiz scored two goals against Cuba in Guatemala's 2010 World Cup qualification in the 3rd match of the 3rd round of qualification of the CONCACAF region. Those two goals extended his all-time individual scoring record for Guatemala to 41 overall goals, six more than Plata's total.

International goals

Source:



Family

Ruiz has four daughters: Andrea, Samantha and Carissa (without Ruiz's last name in the U.S.). The fourth child lives in Honduras with her mother.

Career statistics



Honors

Municipal

  • League champion (2): 2000 Clausura, 2002 Clausura


Los Angeles Galaxy

  • Champion (1): 2002


Individual



References

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA_c1FClBMo
  2. http://www.goal.com/en-us/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=826130
  3. Source: http://prensalibre.com/pl/2008/junio/15/244639.html
  4. MLSnet.com player bio
  5. http://web.mlsnet.com/history/register.jsp?content=players_r


External links



1. March 19, 1999 San Josémarker, Costa Ricamarker 1–1 Draw 1999 UNCAF Nations Cup
2. June 18, 2000 Guatemala Citymarker, Guatemalamarker 8–1 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. July 3, 2000 Montrealmarker, Canadamarker 4–1 Loss Friendly
4. July 16, 2000 Guatemala City, Guatemala 1–1 Draw 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. July 22, 2000 Quetzaltenangomarker, Guatemala 2–0 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. October 8, 2000 Bridgetownmarker, Barbadosmarker Barbados 3–1 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. November 15, 2000 Mazatenangomarker, Guatemala 2–1 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
8. November 15, 2000 Mazatenango, Guatemala Costa Rica 2–1 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
9. January 6, 2001 Miamimarker, United Statesmarker Costa Rica 2–5 Loss 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. January 6, 2001 Miami, United States Costa Rica 2–4 Loss 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
11. January 6, 2002 Havanamarker, Cubamarker 1–0 Win Friendly
12. October 31, 2002 Guatemala City, Guatemala 1–1 Draw Friendly
13. February 18, 2003 Panama Citymarker, Panamamarker 5–0 Win 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup
14. February 18, 2003 Panama City, Panama Nicaragua 5–0 Win 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup
15. February 18, 2003 Panama City, Panama Nicaragua 5–0 Win 2003 UNCAF Nations Cup
16. July 17, 2003 Miami, United States 1–1 Draw 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup
17. May 5, 2004 Guatemala City, Guatemala Haiti 1–0 Win Friendly
18. June 20, 2004 Guatemala City, Guatemala 3–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
19. June 20, 2004 Guatemala City, Guatemala Suriname 3–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
20. August 18, 2004 Burnabymarker, Canada 2–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
21. August 18, 2004 Burnaby, Canada Canada 2–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
22. September 8, 2004 San Pedro Sulamarker, Hondurasmarker 2–2 Draw 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
23. October 13, 2004 Guatemala City, Guatemala Honduras 1–0 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
24. November 13, 2004 Washington, D.C.marker, United States 1–0 Win Friendly
25. December 21, 2004 Caracasmarker, Venezuelamarker 1–0 Win Friendly
26. January 17, 2005 Los Angelesmarker, United States Colombia 1–1 Draw Friendly
27. March 26, 2005 Guatemala City, Guatemala 5–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
28. March 26, 2005 Guatemala City, Guatemala Trinidad and Tobago 5–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
29. July 8, 2005 Carsonmarker, United States Jamaica 3–4 Loss 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup
30. July 8, 2005 Carson, United States Jamaica 3–4 Loss 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup
31. July 8, 2005 Carson, United States Jamaica 3–4 Loss 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup
32. October 8, 2005 San Luis Potosímarker, Mexicomarker 2–5 Loss 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
33. October 12, 2005 Guatemala City, Guatemala Costa Rica 3–1 Win 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
34. October 10, 2006 Atlantamarker, United States Honduras 1–2 Loss Friendly
35. June 12, 2007 Foxboroughmarker, United States Trinidad and Tobago 1–1 Draw 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
36. June 14, 2008 Guatemala City, Guatemala 6–0 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
37. June 14, 2008 Guatemala City, Guatemala Saint Lucia 6–0 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
38. June 14, 2008 Guatemala City, Guatemala Saint Lucia 6–0 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
39. June 14, 2008 Guatemala City, Guatemala Saint Lucia 6–0 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
40. September 10, 2008 Havana, Cuba Cuba 4–1 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
41. September 10, 2008 Havana, Cuba Cuba 4–1 Win 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
2002 Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer 26 24
2003 26 15
2004 20 11
2005 FC Dallas Major League Soccer 19 11
2006 27 13
2007 22 7
2008 Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer 10 1
2008 Toronto FC Major League Soccer 5 0
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