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Can Raúl Ruidíaz just keeping doing this?

I was curious how much precedent there was for someone like Ruidíaz to keep scoring goals the way he has been.

Last Updated
4 min read
Mike Fiechtner / Sounders FC Communications

Through 12 matches, Raúl Ruidíaz has already scored seven goals. That’s two more than he had all of last year and just two fewer than he had in 2022. If he maintains his current pace, he would set a new Sounders season-scoring record (17, a record he shares with Obafemi Martins) and — assuming he can maintain his current playing-time pace — could even tie his own career high with 20 goals in a calendar year.

But how realistic is any of this?

Ruidíaz is going to turn 34 in July, not exactly an age where you expect players to put up career-best numbers. It would be a little naive not to expect some sort of drop off, both in Ruidíaz’s production (.75 goals per 90 minutes) and playing time (he’s been on the field for about 75% of the Sounders’ minutes).

I’d like to put some of those broad concerns aside, for now, and focus more on the types of goals Ruidíaz is scoring. As you probably know, four of them are penalties and the other three are various types of golazos. A quick recap:

  • Ruidíaz’s first open-play goal was a left-footed volley that came off a deflected corner from near the edge of the penalty box.
  • His next open-play goal was against the Philadelphia Union and came when he intercepted a pass near midfield and shot with his first touch.
  • The most recent goal came on Sunday against the Timbers when he, again, shot with his first touch, this time from an Obed Vargas pass. Like the others, it was from distance.

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