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Raúl Ruidíaz called into Peru’s World Cup qualifiers

That could cause Ruidiaz to miss half of the Sounders’ remaining matches.

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

Raúl Ruidíaz has been called into Peru’s next two World Cup 2022 qualifiers. Peru will face Paraguay on Oct. 8 and Brazil on Oct. 13.

Ruidíaz has been in and out of the Peru team since joining the Sounders in 2018. He was in the Copa America squad last summer, but only played two matches off the bench. He did start in three friendlies last year, scoring a goal against Costa Rica in one.

This call-up will likely force Ruidíaz to miss at least two Seattle Sounders matches and perhaps as many as many as five, depending on quarantine protocols. That would be half of the Sounders’ remaining scheduled matches.

The matches Ruidíaz would certainly miss are on Oct. 7 (vs. Real Salt Lake) and Oct. 11 (at Los Angeles FC). If Ruidiaz is required to quarantine for 10 days — as both Gustav Svensson and Brad Smith did when arriving from abroad — the earliest he’d be available is Oct. 24, the day the Sounders host the Portland Timbers. In between, the Sounders host the Colorado Rapids (Oct. 14) and visit the San Jose Earthquakes (Oct. 18).

Playing so many games without their top scorer only underscores the importance of collecting points before then. The Sounders visit the LA Galaxy on Sunday and then host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Oct. 3. Seattle has three matches scheduled for after Ruidíaz’s likely return to the roster.

The Sounders did get a bit of a reprieve this week when the United States men’s national team announced that they’d forgo playing matches during the October FIFA window and when Nicolas Lodeiro was left off of Uruguay’s squad. Concacaf also postponed all of their World Cup qualifying matches, although teams can still theoretically schedule friendlies. Gustav Svensson’s Sweden has three games scheduled during the October window, but he’ll be suspended for one of the two Nations League matches due to his red card and seems likely to be omitted entirely.

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