Sports

Seattle Sounders forward Raul Ruidiaz unlikely to feature against SKC

Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer has revealed striker Raul Ruidiaz is unlikely to feature in this weekend’s clash against Sporting Kansas City due to injury.

The Sounders travel to Children’s Mercy Park in desperate need of a victory following a two-game winless run that’s left them ninth in the Western Conference and five points adrift of the MLS Cup Playoffs spots with just two matches remaining.

However, they’ll have to take on SKC without their talismanic forward Ruidiaz, who was subbed out in the 10th minute of Peru’s 4-1 friendly win over El Salvador on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old was seen in tears on the sidelines and although the injury doesn’t appear to be as serious as first thought, there’s little chance he’ll be ready for this Sunday’s fixture.

“I would say that it’s more likely than not that he won’t be able to play,” Schmetzer said. “He understands the importance of the game. We’ll take him on the trip and if he can manage the pain — sometimes if it’s an ankle sprain they can just wrap that up — but we want to rule out anything serious. He’s in a good mood, so that tells you something.”

Ruidiaz’s faint hopes of featuring on Sunday rest on the outcome of an MRI scan on Friday.

Should Ruidiaz be ruled out of the trip to Kansas City, it’ll be just the latest in a long line of injuries the striker has suffered this season.

In 2022 alone, the Peruvian has missed 13 matches due to three separate muscle injuries, sitting on the sidelines for spells in February, March, June, and July.

Even so, and as if to further exemplify his importance to the Sounders, Ruidiaz has still managed a team-high nine goals in 18 MLS matches, and another three goals in Seattle’s successful Concacaf Champions League campaign – including a brace in the 3-0 final second-leg win against Liga MX side Pumas.

Ruidiaz has been one of the key pieces to the Sounders’ massive success in recent years and there’s little doubt that had he been able to feature in more games this season, the Rave Green wouldn’t be staring down a first-ever Playoffs omission.

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