CONCACAF today announced that D.C. United forward and Guatemala native Carlos Ruiz will be honored with the confederation’s first-ever President’s Award. CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb recognized Ruiz for his achievements in fighting against match manipulation in his home country. Ruiz’s actions in speaking out against match fixing on the Guatemalan National Team paved the way for a significant inquiry into the issue. A ceremony to celebrate El Pescadito will take place tomorrow (Thursday, April 18) at Palacio Bolivar in the Cancillería General de la República in Panama City, Panama.
“The success of football within our region is constantly being shaped by individual actions of players, coaches, administrators and executives,” said Webb in a statement from CONCACAF. “We want to recognize Carlos for his incredible courage to stand up for the integrity of our game and denounce match manipulation activities. His long legacy to football has now a deep footprint both inside and outside the pitch.”
Ruiz has appeared on the international level 104 times for Guatemala, tallying a nation-best 55 goals. El Pescadito signed with D.C. United after being selected via the MLS allocation process on Feb. 20. One of the most storied players in the League’s history, Ruiz has garnered several MLS MVP, MLS Cup MVP and Golden Boot accolades since he joined MLS in 2002. Ruiz has featured in five United matches this season and will face off against his former club, the Philadelphia Union, this Sunday, April 21 (5 p.m.; ESPN2) at RFK Stadium.