Carlos Ruiz Called Up to Guatemalan National Team

May 23, 2011 2:01:34 PM PDT
Philadelphia Union forward Carlos Ruiz has been called up to join the Guatemalan National Team for the upcoming 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, which runs from June 5-25. Ruiz, who scored his third goal for Philadelphia in a 2-1 victory over Chicago on Saturday, last played for Guatemala in an international friendly on March 28 against Bolivia. In the match, he scored his all-time leading 42nd goal for his national team. Prior to the match against Bolivia, Ruiz had been retired from international competition since 2009. "It means a lot to me to come back to the national team after two years and play such an important tournament like Gold Cup", said Ruiz. "We have a very good team with young talent and some international players such as Guillermo Ramirez, Marco Pablo Pappa and me. We will have the big responsibility to set up a good example for the youngsters on and off the pitch, and I'm confident we will make a difference in this tournament and in the future World Cup Qualifier".

Ruiz debuted with the Guatemalan National Team on November 11, 1998 in a friendly match against Mexico. He netted his first goal against El Salvador on March 19, 1999 and has since become his country's all-time leading scorer with 42 goals in 87 caps. In 2001, Ruiz led Guatemala to a first place finish in the UNCAF Nations Cup after settling for second place the previous three years.

After a two-year hiatus with the National Team, Ruiz will return to the group led by Manager Ever Hugo Almeida at the conclusion of his MLS match with the Union in Toronto. Los Chapines, who share Group B with Honduras, Jamaica and Grenada, will open up their Gold Cup trip against Honduras on June 6 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., followed by their matches versus Jamaica and Grenada in Miami on June 10 and at the Red Bull Arena of Harrison, NJ., on June 13, respectively.

(Copyright 2011 Philadelphia Union. Reprinted by permission)