If you know the song the headline came from, 1000 points for Gryffindor. Costa Rica and FC Twente striker Bryan Ruiz is arguably the best player in all of CONCACAF, and he's yet to start a game in the Gold Cup after enduring a long, tough season with Twente and a nagging injury. He came in as a substitute against El Salvador and looked occasionally dangerous, if a little rusty. That was just his rehearsal, though. Tonight is the real thing.
The match between Mexico and Costa Rica has been hyped since before the tournament started and the day has finally arrived. Though El Salvador managed to kill a little bit of the luster with their draw against the Ticos a few days ago, the return of Ruiz should remind everyone how great this game has the potential to be.
'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez has been on a tear, scoring five goals in his first two games in the Gold Cup. He has become an icon in North America and a globally recognized player for his play with Manchester United. With all of the hype around Hernandez, it's easy to forget that Ruiz might actually be the more accomplished player at his point in his career.
My favorite Ruiz accomplishments: Scored the winner in his debut for Twente, once scored in 10 consecutive games for Twente, holds the second fastest hat-trick in the history of Dutch football with goals in the 46th, 49th, and 50th minutes of a game. Insanity.
Mexico vs. Costa Rica was always going to be fun, but the presence of Ruiz just makes it so much better.