Blog - Latest News

Ruiz Steps Back from Soccer Chaplains United to Focus on the Valley


A little over a year ago, EJ Ruiz stepped into a gap. Chaplain Isidro Piña was moving to San Antonio and needed to handoff the chaplaincy work with the (now defunct) Rio Grande Valley Toros FC, an USL-Championship soccer team. From June until December of 2023, EJ faithfully served as the new chaplain to the Toros with Isidro encouraging and guiding him. Then, the devastating news came just 6 months into EJ tenure — the team was folding. When the Toros officially eased operations on December 18, 2023, EJ and Isidro did their best to help players and coaches in the transition period.

In the months since Toros disbanded, EJ and myself began asking if there were any other soccer teams that might be served with EJ as chaplain. However, the task of shepherding and preaching for the church, El Mesias UMC in Mission, Texas and increased roles within the denomination combined with the difficult work of starting something fresh and anew has meant that EJ needs to step back from Soccer Chaplains United.

EJ remains open to the possibility of returning to serve as a chaplain should the Toros return at some point.

Soccer Chaplains United has been extremely blessed to have EJ as part of the team. He played an important role in helping be a presence to the athletes and coaches at a difficult time. We pray that EJ and his family, experience God’s grace and favor as they look to invest more of their love, time, and energy into the church and community in the RGV.

Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and depends upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy across all levels of soccer. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our chaplains and our work. Check out our Donate page for different giving options.