The Seattle Sounders are in the midst of a nightmare season, with injuries and poor form leaving the 2016 MLS Cup champions with the fewest points in the league heading toward the league’s World Cup break.
Help is on the way though, with the Sounders having publicly stated their intent to bring in reinforcements this summer. One of the targets the Sounders are closing in on is Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz.
Sources tell Goal that the Sounders are aggressively pursuing Ruidiaz and have tabled a sizable transfer bid to secure the services of the Morelia goal scorer, who would join the Sounders when the MLS transfer window opens in July.
The Sounders attack has been beset with injuries this season, with U.S. national team striker Jordan Morris suffering a torn ACL at the start of the campaign, and midfielders Nicolas Lodeiro and Victor Rodriguez also suffering injuries. As a result, the Sounders have scored the fewest goals in MLS so far in 2018, a total of seven, which is half as much as the second-lowest total in the league.
Ruidiaz, 27, could be a perfect fit for the Sounders, with his finishing ability and speed helping fill some glaring voids in the Seattle offense. A member of Peru’s World Cup team, Ruidiaz first rose to prominence internationally at the 2016 Copa America, which saw him score a controversial winner against Brazil, which replays showed hit his hand before going in.
Ruidiaz parlayed his Copa America performance into a loan to Liga MX side Morelia, where he proceeded to win the Liga MX scoring title in his first season, in the 2016 Apertura campaign. Ruidiaz eventually joined Morelia on a permanent transfer, and won another scoring title, as goal leader in the 2017 Clausura.
If the Sounders succeed in landing Ruidiaz, it would mark the latest in a recent wave of Peruvian acquisitions in MLS. Orlando City midfielder Yoshi Yotun, Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Yordy Reyna and New York City FC defender Alexander Callens all arrived in MLS during the 2017 season and each performed well.
In 2018, Portland signed midfielder Andy Polo, while Minnesota United acquired defender Alexi Gomez on loan. Yotun and Polo were named to the Peru World Cup squad.