Raúl Díaz Arce

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Raúl Díaz Arce
Personal information
Full name Raúl Ignacio Díaz Arce
Date of birth (1970-02-01) February 1, 1970 (age 47)
Place of birth San Miguel, El Salvador
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Dragón ? (34)
1991–1996 Firpo ? (119)
1996–1997 D.C. United 50 (38)
1998 New England Revolution 32 (18)
1999 San Jose Clash 18 (4)
1999–2000 Tampa Bay Mutiny 22 (13)
2000–2001 D.C. United 18 (6)
2001 Colorado Rapids 12 (3)
2002 Charleston Battery 24 (5)
2002 Águila 24 (5)
2003 Charleston Battery 26 (6)
2004 Puerto Rico Islanders 15 (7)
Total 241+ (266)
National team
1987–2003 El Salvador 68 (39)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 March 2010.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 March 2010
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Díaz and the second or maternal family name is Arce.

Raúl Díaz Arce (born February 1, 1970 in San Miguel, El Salvador) is a retired Salvadoran football player.

He is El Salvador's most prolific goal scorer, with 39 goals in just 68 appearances.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

From 1988 to 1991, Arce played for Dragon in the Salvadoran second division, where he was the league's leading scorer in the 1991/92 season with 21 goals. Playing for Dragon, in two seasons in first division, Ignacio Raul scored 34 goals (89/90 = 13 90/91 = 21), in the second season he was the scoring champion of the regular season when he played four laps. He then moved up to play for C.D. Luis Ángel Firpo of the Salvadoran first division from 1991 to 1996. Here he would go on to win the league's top scorer three season in a row (1993–1996) with 24, 21 and 25, respectively. In Luis Ángel Firpo he scored in five seasons with a total of 119 goals. These early achievements earned him a spot in the national team and employment in the U.S. Soccer.[2]

D.C. United[edit]

In 1996, Diaz Arce signed with Major League Soccer, and was drafted tenth overall in the MLS Inaugural Player Draft by D.C. United. He quickly established himself as a dangerous striker in the league, scoring 23 goals in his first season with United, second in the league behind Roy Lassiter, and still the fifth best single-season mark in MLS history. Diaz Arce was also the first player in MLS history to score a hat-trick in postseason play. He scored 3 against the Tampa Bay Mutiny on October 10, 1996. DC United won 4-1 and would go on to become the first MLS Champions. Diaz Arce continued to light things up in his second season, registering 15 goals, and helping D.C. United to win their second consecutive MLS Cup.

New England Revolution[edit]

Salary cap pressures, and reported conflicts between Diaz Arce and Marco Etcheverry, resulted in D.C. trading one of the league's most prolific scorers to the New England Revolution in the offseason of 1997. Diaz Arce continued to excel in New England, scoring 18 goals and 8 assists for his new team.

End of MLS career[edit]

Nevertheless, Diaz Arce was traded again, and would eventually play for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and San Jose Clash, as well as being briefly owned by the MetroStars, registering 13 goals and 7 assists in the 1999 season. Diaz Arce would continue to be shuttled around in 2000, playing for Tampa Bay and D.C. again in 2000, and scoring a career low 9 goals. Diaz Arce continued to decline in 2001, playing only briefly for D.C. United before being traded again to the Colorado Rapids, with whom he would end his career in MLS. Diaz Arce left MLS second in career goals scored with 82, behind only Roy Lassiter, although he has fallen to sixth as Jason Kreis, Jaime Moreno, Ante Razov and Jeff Cunningham have surpassed both of their totals.

Charleston & Puerto Rico[edit]

For the 2002 season, Diaz Arce played for the Charleston Battery of the A-League, scoring 6 goals and 4 assists in 1319 minutes. He was not the success Charleston had hoped for, however, and left following the year. In 2004, Diaz Arce joined the struggling expansion Puerto Rico Islanders, and gave the team a significant boost, scoring two goals in his first game and a total of 7 in 1233 minutes, and helping the team attain a level of respectability. He is now the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director at the Chicago Magico Soccer Club.

International career[edit]

Diaz Arce made his debut for El Salvador in an April 1991 UNCAF Nations Cup qualification match against Nicaragua in which he immediately scored 2 goals and has earned a total of 68 caps, scoring a record 39 goals. He has represented his country in 28 FIFA World Cup qualification matches[3] and played at several UNCAF Nations Cups as well as at the 1996[4] and 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cups.[5]

His final international was a September 2000 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Honduras.


Club honours[edit]

On August 26, 2009, Díaz-Arce was announced as a new member in the DC United Hall of Tradition.


External links[edit]