Peru men’s national team head coach Juan Reynoso called it “impossible” for Raúl Ruidíaz to be available to the Seattle Sounders for Tuesday’s match against FC Cincinnati. Ruidíaz is currently with Peru ahead of a pair of international friendlies against Mexico (Saturday) and El Salvador (Tuesday), but Brian Schmetzer had expressed some hope the forward would be released after the first match.
It does not sound like that will happen.
While the Sounders are preparing for a match they almost certainly need to win in order to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, Peru is fresh off failing to qualify for the World Cup and won’t play another meaningful match until the 2024 Copa America.
In the wake of Peru’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, Reynoso was hired to replace Ricardo Gareca in August. Although Ruidíaz is 32 and had seemingly fallen out of favor with Peru — having not played for them in over a year — he does have a history with Reynoso, dating to their time together at Universitario. Reynoso had also reportedly tried to bring Ruidíaz to Cruz Azul as recently as last offseason.
Although Ruidíaz could theoretically demand his release, Schmetzer indicated that in practice that only happens with a coach’s blessing.
“The players have total control, but no player doesn’t want to play for their national team,” Schmetzer said earlier this week. “That’s the conundrum. Raul is very pleased about getting back with the new coach.
“If you snub your nose at your national team, chances are you won’t make it back. Respectful conversions have to happen.”
The Sounders had also expressed some hope that Alex Roldán would be released by El Salvador, but there’s been no definitive word yet on his availability.