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Galaxy reacquires Ruiz in trade with FC Dallas

January 16, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Carlos Ruiz, a four-time Major League Soccer All-Star whose goals powered the Galaxy to its first MLS title in 2002, on Tuesday rejoined the team.

Ruiz, 28, was acquired by the Galaxy in a trade with FC Dallas. Los Angeles gave up an undetermined amount of allocation money and a second-round pick in the 2009 MLS draft for Ruiz.

"It means a lot to play for the Galaxy again because I feel like I am going back home, and I am very excited about that," Ruiz said.

The Guatemalan national team captain played 83 regular-season and playoff games in three seasons with the Galaxy after being signed as a discovery player in 2002. He scored 61 goals and assisted on 10 others for Los Angeles.

Ruiz, nicknamed "El Pescadito," was traded to Dallas in March 2005 in a move that made room for Landon Donovan to join the Galaxy. Ruiz continued to be one of the league's top offensive threats -- in his three seasons with Dallas, he scored 36 goals, bringing his MLS total to 97 goals in 157 games.

He is the eighth-leading scorer in MLS history.

Rumors of a trade for Ruiz had been circulating for months, and Paul Bravo, the Galaxy's director of soccer, admitted that the team had been seeking a "proven" scorer.

"Carlos is an experienced forward who has averaged better than a goal every two games during his MLS career and we believe that he will be a tremendous asset to our attack," Bravo said.

Dallas Coach Steve Morrow said trading Ruiz had allowed the team to "clear up considerable cap space" in its salary budget. Ruiz earned a guaranteed $435,000 in 2007.

The Galaxy set up the trade by sending starting goalkeeper Joe Cannon and his $192,000 salary to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money that it then used to acquire Ruiz.

The Guatemalan striker joins a Galaxy forward line that already features Donovan, Alan Gordon and Edson Buddle.

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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