Perhaps the most iconic moment from Wednesday’s 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes wasn’t Raúl Ruidíaz’s goal, although that was pretty nice. Chances are, Ruidíaz will score plenty more goals in Rave Green, some likely even more impressive than the control and power he put on display for his first. The most iconic moment happened immediately after.
Ruidíaz apparently spotted a fan in the stands holding a Peru flag, went over and celebrated with them, even briefly taking the flag in hand. This would not have been particularly notable or surprising if it were to happen in Seattle, where there’s already been an impressive collection of Peru fans cheering him on.
But, of course, this happened in San Jose, against a team that likes to think of themselves as one of Seattle’s rivals. Even more remarkable was the mob of fans who greeted Ruidíaz after the game.
From the look of it, there were at least a hundred people — many of them wearing San Jose Earthquakes gear — just waiting to get glimpse of Ruidíaz. Aside from maybe when Clint Dempsey first signed, I can’t remember another player who elicited this kind of adoration from fans on the road. It looks like the Sounders may have known what they were doing when they committed $14 million to signing him.