Raúl Ruidíaz Leaving Seattle Sounders?

The franchise’s historic top scorer might leave for free in 2025
Colorado Rapids v Seattle Sounders FC
Colorado Rapids v Seattle Sounders FC / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The news that the club won’t renew the contract of Raúl Ruidíaz, their historic top scorer, which expires at the end of the year, took many by surprise. With this decision, the 33-year-old Peruvian striker might leave for free in early 2025, raising a series of questions about the future of the team and the implications for Major League Soccer (MLS).

Raúl Ruidíaz, with his knack for scoring and strong presence in the box, has become an iconic figure for Sounders fans. Since joining the club, he’s been a goal-scoring machine, always in the right place at the right time, and his name is already etched in the franchise’s history. But now, this story might be coming to an unexpected end.

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At first glance, the decision not to renew Ruidíaz’s contract might seem like a colossal mistake. After all, we’re talking about a player who not only delivers results on the field but also carries a legion of passionate fans. To many, he’s synonymous with the Seattle Sounders, and imagining the team without him is almost unthinkable. But is there some logic behind this decision?

To understand better, we need to consider several factors. First, Ruidíaz’s age. At 33, he’s in the final phase of his career. Although he’s still a formidable player, the reality is that soccer is a cruel sport with the passage of time. Injuries become more frequent, recovery is slower, and performance tends to decline. The Sounders, like any other club, need to think about the long-term future.

Then, there’s the financial aspect. Keeping a player of Ruidíaz’s caliber isn’t cheap. His salary undoubtedly represents a significant portion of the club’s payroll. Perhaps, the Sounders are choosing to invest in new, younger, and more promising talents that can offer a long-term return.

Imagine Ruidíaz, wearing a different jersey, returning to Lumen Field as an opponent. Fans, torn between applause and boos, wonder how things could have been different. Will he score against the Sounders and prove he still has a lot to offer? Or will time show that the club’s decision was the right one?

Who could have predicted that an idol like Ruidíaz would be packing his bags to leave, possibly without leaving a penny in the club’s coffers? Will he continue in MLS, enchanting American fans? Or maybe return to South America, where it all began?

For Ruidíaz, there’s the gratitude of a city and the certainty that he will always have a special place in Seattle Sounders’ history. For the club, the challenge of moving forward and continuing to build a winning team remains.