One of the biggest decisions facing the Seattle Sounders this upcoming offseason will almost certainly be what to do with Raúl Ruidíaz. The striker has a guaranteed contract in 2024 which is likely due to pay something close to the $3.2 million he currently makes. It’s entirely possible that bringing him back turns out to be a big of a no-brainer, especially if he can finish the season strong.
But with 10 games to go, the reality is that Ruidíaz has so far underperformed. It’s not just that he’s been limited to four goals and hasn’t scored in his last seven appearances, it’s that he’s logged less than 1,000 minutes across all competitions. If Ruidíaz can’t at least remain healthy for the rest of the season, the Sounders will have to seriously consider if he can ever stay fully fit and whether his Designated Player spot can be put to better use.
Either way, with Ruidíaz entering the final year of his contract, they will almost certainly have to listen to any offers they might receive for him. I would call it a remote possibility, but one potential suitor has now emerged.
Ruidíaz’s boyhood club, Peru’s Universitario, is reportedly interested is getting ready to celebrate their 100th anniversary and are keen on giving their fans a “huge gift”, according to Trome.com. That gift would apparently be Ruidíaz, who started his career with the Peruvian giants and with whom he scored about 80 goals over parts of six seasons.
Although Ruidíaz’s salary is well beyond anything Universitario is paying any other players, the club is apparently exploring a marketing campaign that might help close that gap.
Still, such a move only seems vaguely possible if the Sounders are willing to pick up at least part of Ruidíaz’s salary. It’s probably too soon to say how inclined they are to do something like that. If Ruidíaz were to leave, that would just be one more big signing the Sounders would potentially have to make.