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Sounders in talks to sign Liga MX striker Raul Ruidiaz, agent says

Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer may soon be receiving reinforcements from Liga MX. (Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

The Seattle Sounders are in talks to sign striker Raul Ruidiaz from Liga MX side Club Atletico Monarcas Morelia, the player’s agent has told SB Nation blog Sounder at Heart. The Peruvian scored 20 goals in each of the last two seasons in Mexico.

David Pezua, Ruidiaz’s agent, told the site that he and the Sounders are in the “final stages of negotiation” to bring Ruidiaz to Seattle.

Ruidiaz, 27, is a diminutive striker who is known for his ability to shoulder past defenders despite his height. The Peruvian also has a penchant for scoring flashy goals from distance.

The striker began his career with his boyhood club, Club Universitario de Deportes in Lima, Peru. From there, Ruidiaz spent in Brazil, Chile and with other Peruvian clubs before landing a loan stint with Morelia in 2016. Ruidiaz finished the 2016 apertura as Liga MX’s golden boot winner with 11 goals, a feat that earned him a three-year deal with the Mexican side in 2017.

Ruidiaz is currently away on international duty, having been selected by Peru for its 23-man roster for the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Ruidiaz has 29 caps for Los Incas, having scored four goals. Ruidiaz’ absence for the World Cup means he would likely not join Seattle until as late as August, depending on how his country fares in the tournament.

The Sounders, as a habit, do not comment on transfer rumors, but they could use a player of Ruidiaz’ goal-scoring prowess. The club has faltered to a 2-7-2 start in league play and a side of reserves and USL call-ups was dominated by the Sacramento Republic in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night.

If Ruidiaz joins the Sounders, it would likely be as a Designated Player. It is unclear if Seattle would have to pay up for the player’s discovery rights, since the forward had been linked to New York City FC in the past.

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