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FC Dallas, Now Without a Star

A short while ago FC Dallas announced it has moved its star player, Carlos Ruiz, to the Los Angeles Galaxy for a draft pick and allocation money. The speculation was that Ruiz was on the downhill slope of his career, and if the Hoops were ever going to get anything out of him, now was the time.

The trade has, however, puzzled some FC Dallas fans who wonder why the team would trade Ruiz to a squad in the same conference, especially considering that with David Beckham feeding Ruiz balls, the Galaxy offense becomes a lot more potent.

I just got off the phone with FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow, who is coming back from the MLS player combine in Florida. His reasons, after the jump.

Morrow says the main reason for the deal was the free-up money. With the recent signing of Mexican star Duilio Davino, Morrow said the team was right up against the salary cap.

“This gives us more flexibility,” he tells Unfair Park. “Whether that’s for another forward like Carlos or another position, we haven’t decided yet.”

As for rumors that Ruiz’s reputation as a malcontent had something to do with the Hoops moving him, Morrow said that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Carlos wasn’t a team cancer at all,” he says “I had a good relationship with him, as did everyone in the organization. That’s why I picked him as my captain.”

Having signed Davino, a defensive player, to shore up the backfield, it would seem the Hoops most pressing need would be to find an offensive player who can put the ball in the net. Morrow says he’s confident he can find that player.

For Ruiz, this closes a chapter in his career in which he was never embraced by Dallas fans. For the most part, he was seen as a whining, diving prima donna who never really wanted to be here. Conventional wisdom is that he may have more success in L.A., which runs a system better suited to his style of play. --Jesse Hyde

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