Raúl Ruidíaz was not included in Peru’s roster for a pair of upcoming World Cup qualifiers that would have been played during the break between the end of the MLS regular season and the start of the playoffs.
Informed of this news, Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer couldn’t quite hold back his smile.
“We can train all together, as a family,” Schmetzer said.
It’s understandable why this news might come as a relief to Schmetzer. Although Ruidíaz has been regularly called into the Peru national team since joining the Sounders in 2018, it’s rarely seemed worthwhile. Ruidíaz seldom starts for Peru and has not scored in any of the 19 caps he’s won since the 2018 World Cup. The last time he was called into Peru, he was asked to report despite being injured and then re-aggravated that injury. He has now missed the Sounders’ last six games, but could feature in Monday’s game against the LA Galaxy.
Having a healthy Ruidíaz will likely be key to the Sounders’ efforts to get back to MLS Cup for the fifth time in six years. Ruidíaz has nine goals and six assists in 10 career playoff appearances.