Ricky Ruiz, a major contributor to USL Championship side RGV Toros, is returning to Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, pending league and federation approval.
Ruiz etched himself into club history books during his previous two year run in Chattanooga in 2020 and 2021. Ruiz became the USL League One assist leader, the first and only player to do so in club history, in 2021 with eight assists. Ruiz was also a two-time USL League One All-League team member, the first and only player in club history to achieve the award two times. He totaled 3,955 minutes played across two seasons and added four goals and ten assists during his time with the club.
Most recently, Ruiz played with Rio Grande Valley FC in USL Championship during the 2022 and 2023 seasons, registering a total of 4,618 minutes across two seasons with the team, contributing five goals and eight assists including one goal during the 2023 U.S. Open Cup. Ruiz made 24 starts across 30 games in the 2023 season with 18 tackles won at 69.2% accuracy along with 26 clearances and 22 interceptions.
When asked about his return to the club, Ruiz stated, “Coming back to Chattanooga was not the toughest decision to make. Being far away from home isn’t the easiest thing to do, but the people of Chattanooga always treated me well and made me feel at home…I had a chat with our head coach, Scott, prior to signing and his goals for the team aligned with mine. We both want to win and are willing to do what it takes to win.”
“Ricky coming back to Chattanooga is a huge signing for us,” said head coach Scott Mackenzie. “He comes back to the club after two very successful years in which he was a USL League One assist leader in 2021 and then had two very successful years with RGV Toros in the USL Championship where he was a major contributor. We look at Ricky as a real statement of intent for what we are as a club and what we want to become. Ricky wants to win, and win with Chattanooga, and I can’t wait to get to work with him to do just that.”
“Even though the club is still relatively young, we now have enough experience to recognize certain pillars that epitomize the strength of the Chattanooga Red Wolves culture”, says GM & President Sean McDaniel. “The return of Ricky Ruiz not only gives the team the leadership foundation so critical for success, it also brings in one of the all time greats that has ever played in Chattanooga. Ricky is here to win a Championship with the Chattanooga Red Wolves and with Scott’s direction and Ricky’s talent we hope to lift a trophy this season.”
As for a message to the fans, Ruiz had this to say. “To the fans, I can’t wait to be playing in front of all of you again! You create the best atmosphere in the league at the best stadium in the league! I hope to see you all soon!”
Additional player announcements will be shared on the club’s official social media and website as the 2024 roster continues to grow. The Red Wolves begin the season on Friday, March 15th on the road against Lexington SC and will host Union Omaha for the home opener on Saturday, March 30th. Season tickets for the upcoming season are on sale now and can be purchased at the event or online here.