Daniel Cruz arrives on trial with Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo added another Daniel Cruz to their ranks Thursday morning.
The Colombian-born midfielder (who shares the name with energetic 21-year-old outside midfielder Danny Cruz) began a one-week trial with the Dynamo to
see if he has the type of skills that can enhance their inconsistent
Characterized as a playmaking midfielder, Cruz was brought to the
attention of Dynamo assistant coach Wade Barrett by a friend. After
reviewing Cruz’s résumé, the Dynamo went to work to arrange a chance to
get to know him personally.
“We’ve been in contact with him for a little while now trying to work
it out to have him come in,” said Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear. “Lucky for us, he’s found the time to come in, and
hopefully he shows well and continues to impress.”
Cruz has spent much of his career with Belgian side Germinal Beerschot after beginning his career
with Dutch giant Ajax in 2000 and scoring two goals in 11 games in three
seasons with the team. Cruz was on the field Thursday morning ahead of Houston’s home match
this Satuday against Toronto FC. With the Dynamo concentrating on match
preparations, Cruz participated in passing and shooting drills with the
first team and a short-field game with the reserves.
Without the opportunity to scrimmage, Cruz will get his chance to show
what he can do in a game setting on Sunday when the Dynamo reserves play
the Monterrey U-20s.
“We’ll find out more about him on Sunday,” Kinnear said. “We tried to
get him here earlier in the week so we could see him in a more
competitive setting like we did with Miler [Castillo], but hopefully, if
he impresses, then we’ll ask him to stay.”
While the Dynamo are keen to get a closer look at Cruz on the field, the midfielder is doing some scouting of his own off it. Cruz is using the trip to get a closer look at the whole package -- club,
league, and city -- to see if Houston would be a good fit. He admitted to
having been intrigued by the league after watching several games over
the past few months.
Hearing good things about the city and organization from past Ajax
teammate and former Dynamo midfielder Anthony Obodai, Cruz took Houston
up on its offer to come and trial with the club and explore a
potential new home for him and his family.
“I had some offers in Europe, but my wife wants me to come to play
soccer closer to home. Now that we have a son, that makes sense,” Cruz
said. “My wife lived in America before, and she loves it here. Everything
isn’t about money. It’s about the quality of life, and I can give my
family a good life here.”
Cruz and the Dynamo have a week to see if they are a good match. While it may
seem like a short timeframe, both the midfielder and Dynamo staff
believe it is ample time for him to show if he can help the club.
“He has a good résumé and a willingness to come here,” added Kinnear.
“If he does well enough for us to continue the talks, then that will
fall into place.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.