The Seattle Sounders have announced the signing of Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz as a designated player from Liga MX side Morelia.
“We are thrilled to complete the signing of our top designated player target in Raul Ruidíaz,” Sounders FC general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a club release.
“Collectively, we were relentless in our pursuit of Raul because he is a proven difference-maker at the highest levels of the game. Wherever he has played, he has made his teams better, scoring well over 100 professional goals in the process."
To make room for Ruidiaz on its roster, Seattle used targeted allocation money to lower the salary budget charge of midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who will no longer occupy a designated player spot. Ruidiaz, Nicolas Lodeiro and Clint Dempsey are now the Sounders' three designated players.
Ruidiaz has been one of the top scorers in Mexico since joining Morelia in 2016. He was top scorer in both the 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura, and his 40 goals in the past two years trail only Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who has netted 41.
The Peru international will be a welcome addition for a Seattle side that is dead-last in goals scored in MLS with just 11 in 14 matches.
Ruidiaz has been capped 31 times by Peru, scoring four goals. At club level, he has also represented Universitario in Peru, Brazilian club Coritiba and Chilean side Universidad de Chile.