TULSA, Okla. – Joe Ruiz is back for his third season with Tulsa Athletic as Ruiz becomes the second signing for the club for the 2021 season.
In his two seasons with Tulsa Athletic, Ruiz has totaled 24 straight starts and 25 appearances with three goals. Playing as a defender and midfielder, he has registered 2,123 minutes in those two seasons.
Ruiz helped Tulsa Athletic win the Heartland Conference league championship and advance to the South Region championship while appearing in all 14 matches during the 2019 season. He played the second most minutes on the team with 1,233 minutes on defense. Ruiz tallied the first goal of the season in only the third minute in the season-opening 3-1 win over Little Rock Rangers. He added another goal in the Heartland Conference semifinals in a 6-2 victory over Ozark FC.
During his first season for Tulsa Athletic in 2018, Ruiz appeared in all 11 matches and started the final 10 contests in the midfield. He totaled one goal against FC Wichita early in the eighth minute of the match. For the season, Ruiz played 890 minutes in the 11 contests.
Ruiz started his collegiate career at NCAA Division I University of Tulsa, where he was a three-year starter, totaling five goals and one assist in 44 appearances. In his senior season, Ruiz transferred to NCAA Division I Oral Roberts for the 2020-21 campaign.
As a junior at TU, Ruiz made nine starts and appeared in 12 contests. He finished his season with six shots and two shots on goal as he played 757 minutes for the Golden Hurricane.
Ruiz started in all 17 matches during his 2018 season as a sophomore at TU. In the midfield, Ruiz paced the Golden Hurricane with four goals and added one assist for nine points in the 2018 season. Ruiz posted two game-winning goals, including the game-winner at No. 15 Michigan in a 2-1 victory for TU. He also registered the game-winning tally in the win over city rival Oral Roberts.
In his freshman campaign, Ruiz started in 13 contests and was named to the American Athletic Conference all-rookie team. He scored a goal against Denver. As a freshman, he was tabbed as TU’s “Man of the Match” against UConn, Saint Louis and Cincinnati.
A Bartlesville, Oklahoma native, Ruiz was a three-year letterwinner at Bartlesville High School where he tallied 14 goals and 12 assists in three seasons. He was selected to the All-VYPE Northeast Oklahoma Soccer Team. Ruiz played club soccer for Blitz United, posting 20 goals and 30 assists.
Tulsa Athletic opens the 2021 campaign on May 1 at Arkansas Wolves in Little Rock, Arkansas. The home opener is May 16 against OKC 1889 at 2 p.m. at Veterans Park.