As we know, FC Dallas still has one DP slot open and one glaring position that desperately needs to be filled (right wing/mid). Yesterday a tweet came out that Costa Rica's captain Bryan Ruiz was open to joining MLS, should the right team come knocking.
Bryan Ruiz en #DM935: "No las descarto -ligas nórdicas o MLS-. Veremos si hay interés de esos equipos"— Deportes Monumental (@RadioMonumental) February 10, 2015
Obviously, I don't know what Ruiz and his agent are looking for or what their "Must Have" list is, but Dallas would be missing out should they not make an attempt at Ruiz for their final DP spot. Ruiz brings big game experience, enormous talent, an eye for goal and fans into the stadium. Oddly enough he's kind of a blend of Blas Perez and Mauro Diaz. Has the size and goal scoring threat of Blas and the soft feathery touch of Mauro. It's as if they had a child that took their best soccer features. But back to the point, so let me break down the reasons for and against going for Ruiz in this case.
For club and country, Bryan Ruiz has been a consistent performer in terms of scoring and creating goals. This year with Fulham in the Football League Championship, Ruiz has averaged a 0.54 goals+assists per 90 ratio (0.31 for goals and 0.23 for assists). Not world breaking, but still a very good rate of return. Where Ruiz does shine is in the Chances Created department where he's averaging 1.76 chances created this year (chances created = key passes plus assists) and that is what we want to see from a winger. Someone who puts the ball into areas where they are goal scoring opportunities for your teammates.
For comparison, Andres Escobar averaged 0.32 goals+assists per 90 and 1.27 key passes per 90. Granted, there is a bit of an advantage for Ruiz in terms of actual goals scored because he played more centrally than Escobar did, but can you imagine seeing this kind of skill on a weekly basis?
This is where some of you might be scratching your heads and wondering, "Wait, isn't Ruiz more of a second striker or attacking midfielder?" Yes, that is true but Ruiz can also line up on the right side as well and dribble to the center of the field onto his stronger left foot. He has played a bit on the left too, but he primarily operates out of the middle and right sides of the attacking midfield. If Oscar Pareja is truly committed to the 4-2-3-1 with Mauro Diaz running the show, then having Ruiz as a backup to Diaz would be incredible.
The Case Against
His age (29), price (can FCD afford him) and the Hunts. I don't mean this in a negative way, but the Hunts are not known to splash for big name players. Whether Bryan Ruiz is considered a "big name" player is to be determined, but he doesn't seem to fit the mold of what they are looking for. After that disaster with Denilson in 2007, the Hunts have been pretty gun shy about splashing the money for players and have preferred to go with "The FC Dallas Way" of plucking young, raw, unknown talent on the cheap and turning them into stars on the team.
In the end though, I certainly think Dallas should take a look at Ruiz. Perhaps after it's all been said and done, nothing will come of this and it'll all just be speculation and end in the same way of Sacha Kljestan, Mix Diskerud and Michael Essien. But it technically still is the silly season, so why not have one or two more rounds of it? What do you guys think? Should Dallas make a run for Bryan Ruiz?