The rumors of Carlos Ruiz's imminent move from the Los Angeles Galaxy appear to finally have come true. For weeks, whispers around MLS have claimed that the Guatemalan international was on his way out of the Home Depot Center so the team could clear salary cap space and sign a new player, presumably Eddie Lewis.
On Tuesday morning sources told Goal.com that the deal was nearly done, but it could not be confirmed. In the evening, the Soccer By Ives Web site stated that the deal was in place. Although the deal has yet to be confirmed, TFC, presumably to make room for Ruiz, released French midfielder Laurent Robert.
Ruiz, who suffered an injury early in the season and was forced to sit out the first few months, never clicked with former Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit. He has been on the trading block for several weeks, but negotiations were protracted while the Galaxy went through last week's shake up that saw Gullit resign and GM Alexi Lalas fired. This week, L.A. named Bruce Arena as their new head coach.
TFC has been in search of an established striking option, especially since a concussion injury ruled leading scorer Danny Dichio out for more than six weeks. He is just not returning to action.
Ruiz could be just the ticket. With 82 MLS goals to his name, along with 39 goals for Guatemala, the "Little Fish" is one of the most prolific scorers in CONCACAF history. He is also an MLS Cup champion, after scoring with the winning goal in LA's 2002 MLS Cup final victory over the New England Revolution.
With Ruiz's acquisition, Toronto instantly become a playoff contender. But only if he can find his scoring form. Ruiz has only goal so far this season.