The Philadelphia Union will announce this week that they have signed Guatemalan striker Carlos Ruiz, a source with direct knowledge of the deal told me this evening.
I've been told that Ruiz has been training with the Union, although I was not told exactly when that started. The Union left their preseason training camp in Orlando this morning, having been there since February 1.
The club will be in Philadelphia until Wednesday, when they will leave for Greece. That trip will last until March 10, and will include two exhibition matches.
I was told to expect an official announcement of the Ruiz deal tomorrow or Tuesday. I was not given any details about whether there will be a formal introduction, the way there was for Faryd Mondragón and Carlos Valdés.
The Union have been extremely tight-lipped about the trialists they have had in during their various preseason training camps so far, and they have never commented about players not signed to contracts.
We know that the club played an exhibition game against Orlando City yesterday at the Citrus Bowl (and lost 1-0), but we don't know who was on the field. Neither the Union's official recap nor Orlando City's official recap listed starting lineups.
From reading those stories and Orlando City's live match commentary, we know tha the following players appeared: Mondragón, Zac MacMath, Valdés (who was sent off in the 17th minute), Michael Orozco Fiscal (who was booked in the 36th minute), Danny Califf, Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Carroll (as pointed out by you all in the comments), Amobi Okugo, Justin Mapp, Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney.
To save you the counting, that's 12 total names, including two goalkeepers. It's a pretty safe bet that not all 10 outfield players played all 90 minutes.
The Orlando City website had a live match commentary during the game. At one point in the second half, the author wrote: "I believe mostly trialists are on the field right now for Philadelphia." But he did not provide any further details.
Before you ask, since I have been asked a few times: I wasn't in Orlando for any part of the Union's camp. I've been covering college basketball, including a trip to New England this weekend. It's not very easy to be in Rhode Island and Florida at the same time.
But if Ruiz is introduced this week, there will be plenty of coverage here on the blog.