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Raúl Ruidíaz won’t be called into Perú’s friendlies for ‘personal reasons’

Sounders forward apparently asked not to be included.

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer -Peru at USA David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Raúl Ruidíaz won’t be among the Seattle Sounders called away for national duty during the upcoming FIFA window, Perú coach Ricardo Gareca announced on Friday.

“Including players always generates some controversy,” Gareca said. “Raúl Ruidíaz asked to not be included due to issues that he needs to take care of. Essentially those are personal reasons.”

It was not immediately clear what sort of personal reasons Ruidíaz cited. He is arguably Perú’s top option at striker, with Paolo Guerrero having not played since last summer and Jefferson Farfan now 34 years old. Ruidíaz has never had an extended look as a starter for Perú, though, and has just four goals in 37 appearances for La Blanquirroja. Ruidíaz has scored 14 times in 17 matches for the Sounders and has been one of Peru’s most decorated scorers at the club level for about five years.

Peru hosts Paraguay on March 22 and then plays at El Salvador on March 26. Seattle has a bye that weekend, hosting the Chicago Fire on March 16 and visiting the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 30.

The Sounders are expected to have several players called away for games during that window, most notably Nicolas Lodeiro, who was named to Uruguay’s preliminary 27-man roster for the China Cup.

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