CARSON, CA - APRIL 02: Carlos Ruiz #20 of the Philadelphia Union defends against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the Philadelphia Union v Los Angeles Galaxy Match at The Home Depot Center on April 2, 2011 in Carson, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
After a several-month-long transfer saga linking Guatemalan striker Carlos Ruiz to Mexican club Veracruz, Kerith Gabriel of the Daily News is reporting that a deal has finally gone through to sell "El Pescadito" to the Tiburones Rojos from the Philadelphia Union.
Despite rumors about Ruiz's future appearing almost exclusively here on the Brotherly Game for months, Ruiz came out three weeks ago and publicly denied the stories to Gabriel in a press conference. But it appears he was just being coy with his comments about the area and his family, as he will stand to make more than $400,000 a year from his deal with Veracruz, who are seeking promotion to the Mexican Primera Division after just missing out this past season.
The transfer saga has had many ups and downs, including Veracruz's coach first publicly stating that he was going after Ruiz, only to later say that signing him was no longer possible. Then, after the Union's 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Friday night, coach Peter Nowak shocked the press with news that Ruiz would leave the team, but Veracruz continued to deny the link. Late Saturday night into Sunday morning, Fox Soccer's Mauricio Cardenas reported that the Guatemalan may finally go to Veracruz after all, and now Kerith Gabriel is confirming that report.
Gabriel is unaware of the figures of the transfer fee that the Union and MLS are to receive in the deal, but he is working to find out those numbers. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Marc Narducci is also reporting that the Union are looking to sign a young international striker to effectively replace Ruiz; this young player may or may not be Saprissa's Josue Martinez, who the Union were rumored to have made an offer for last week.