There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Raul Ruidiaz’s goal that helped the Sounders FC collect a 1-0 victory against Austin FC on Thursday. The striker being named MLS Player of the Week is a start, however.
Ruidiaz, who was named to the league’s Best XI last season, was bestowed the Week 14 honor Friday. The Peruvian’s goal put him in the lead for the league’s Golden Boot race with 11 total scores this season. Ruidiaz, who’ll turn 31 Sunday, has 53 goals in 78 MLS appearances since being signed as a Designated Player in 2018.
The league also announced Ruidiaz and midfielder Josh Atencio, who’s 19, were named to the Team of the Week. Seattle’s Brian Schmetzer was named the Coach of the Week.
While Ruidiaz recognized his goal as impressive in postgame interviews Thursday, he dedicated the victory via an Instagram post to the five teenagers who started the match for Seattle. It was the second-youngest lineup in MLS history. Ruidiaz did not enter the game until the 54th minute and then he scored the game-winner in the 67th minute – catching Austin keeper Brad Stuver off his line and unable to leap high enough to block the rainbow shot from 40 yards out.
The league-leading Sounders (9-1-5) conclude a three-match week Sunday when they meet Sporting Kansas City (8-3-3) at Lumen Field.