The Seattle Sounders community will lose their longest-serving beat reporter following Saturday’s match against New York City FC, as Don Ruiz announced his departure from the Tacoma News-Tribune.
Sigh. Time to mention this is my last week on Sounders beat & at TNT. They've been great to me for 28 years. You guys have been great, too.— Don Ruiz (@donruiztnt) June 20, 2016
Ruiz had been covering the Sounders ever since they joined MLS in 2009, and it sounds as if the News-Tribune will be going in a very different direction. In a longer Facebook post about the situation, Ruiz said the TNT would no longer have a soccer beat writer. Ruiz was apparently offered another position on the news staff, but turned it down.
Although the Sounders remain one of the most thoroughly covered teams in MLS, there’s been a notable loss of institutional knowledge to leave the daily beat. No one who covers the team on anything like a near-daily basis — whether for outside media or even internally — has been doing so for more than a couple seasons. Ruiz was one of a small group of reporters not employed by MLS or the team who could regularly be relied upon to ask questions after training sessions or even matches.
On a personal note, Ruiz was one of the nicest and most genuine people I ever came across during my media career. Even after I left the daily beat, Ruiz always made me feel welcomed in the press box and was among the reporters with whom I felt the most connection. In addition to exchanging thoughts on the state of the team, he and I would often discuss movies and TV shows.