Q&A: Carlos Ruiz

dcunited.com: What have you been up to since you left Major League Soccer?
Carlos Ruiz: After the game against the United States, with the Guatemalan National Team, I retired from the National Team. After that, I have come back to the States, trying to see if I had an opportunity to go back to Mexico and play, but then I tried to see if I can stay in Major League Soccer and play here. I have been training by myself with a personal trainer in Dallas, Texas, and finally, I signed with one of the best teams in Major League Soccer history.

dcunited.com: What draws you back to Major League Soccer at this point in your storied career? Why now?
CR: In the last couple of years, I was around the world man. I was playing in South and Central America, Europe, but I live in Dallas and I wanted to stay here in the United States. All of my family is here in the States, my girlfriend is from here too, so there is no reason for me anymore to go around the world playing everywhere, you know? I’m going to try and play good here, try to finish my career good, and I am very excited because I am going to do it with like I said, one of the best teams in Major League Soccer history.

dcunited.com: We’re nine days away from the 2013 season opener – where are you physically at this point? Are you ready to play?
CR: I spoke with Ben [Olsen] about it. It’s definitely not the same training by myself everyday. I’m not with a group playing soccer, but I’m going to do my best every time I get onto the field. I’m going to work hard over the next nine days and we’ll see. Ben is going to decide after he sees me during training and will decide if I’m going to be available for the game against Houston. I’m very excited to play against Houston. For me playing soccer is a passion so I’m going to be ready for whatever is needed of me.

dcunited.com: You mentioned the history of D.C. United a few times now – what kind of emotions do you get now being on the other side of the greatest fans in the League?
CR: First of all, I think D.C. United has one of the biggest fan bases and crowds in Major League Soccer. For me, when I came to MLS to play, I remember RFK Stadium – playing against legends like Etcheverry, Jamie [Moreno], all of those players who have made history for D.C. United. I was 22 years old, playing one of the best teams in MLS in a historic stadium and it was unbelievable. I will have that memory for the rest of my life. I’m very happy to be here and I hope I can make history like Etcheverry and Moreno and Olsen did for this team.

dcunited.com: Are you willing to share any personal goals you may have set for yourself this year?
CR: I just came here to work hard man. I have a lot of experience so I want to help the young guys. We’ll see – hopefully we will have a good team like last year, and we will see at the end of the year.

dcunited.com: What’s your relationship like with Ben Olsen? Did knowing him for so long and playing against him help you out with coming to D.C.?
CR: I have a very good relationship with Ben. He’s one of Chris Albright’s best friends, who one day was my roommate when I was with the LA Galaxy, so we have a good relationship. He is a young coach and wants to make something of D.C. United just like I do. The first time I heard about the intention of D.C. United to sign me, it was before the World Cup Qualifying game against the United States in October. For me it was very exciting news.

dcunited.comAnything you want to add?
CR: I like the city, I have friends here, and I know there is a huge Guatemalan community here in D.C. and Virginia and I can’t wait to see them all out at our games this year. I’m going to feel like I’m at home. Thanks.