Danny Cruz

Danny Cruz
Danny Cruz
Houston Dynamo
Real Name: Danny Cruz
HT: 5' 8" WT: 170
Age: 25 (01/03/1990)
Birthplace: Petersburg, VA
Hometown: Glendale, AZ

OUTLOOK: U.S. youth international with great potential as a wide attacking option who showed significant growth in his second season in 2010.

2011 MLS: Played in 20 games, making 12 starts, and scored two goals with a career-high three assists despite missing significant time due to injury ... After coming in as a sub in first two games, stepped into starting lineup at right midfield with trademark high-energy play in 1-1 tie at NY on 4/2 ... Assisted on game-winning goal in 3-1 win vs. VAN on 4/10, bending in a right-footed cross to set up  Bobby Boswell's goal ... Also started vs. NE on 4/17 and at CHI on 4/23 before missing time due to knee injury ... Returned as starter in 2-0 loss at SJ on 6/4 ... Came off the bench in game vs. CHV on 6/11 when defender Eddie Robinson went down ... Returned to starting lineup on 6/25 at DC ... Scored first goal of season by racing behind the defense to give Houston the lead in 2-0 win vs. TFC on 7/9 ... Injured right quad in late July shortly before match vs. SEA on 7/30 ... Returned to first-team action as sub in 3-0 friendly win vs. Monterrey on 9/4 ... Returned to MLS play as substitute and helped set up game-tying goal in 2-2 tie at CLB on 9/14 ... Also came on as a substitute and helped set up game-winning goal in 2-1 win vs. SJ on 9/17 ... Returned to starting lineup and scored spectacular long-range goal in playoff-clinching 2-0 win at POR on 10/14 ... Playoffs: Started all four playoff matches to help Dynamo reach MLS Cup final, suffering nine postseason fouls ... Started his first MLS Cup final and played all 90 minutes at LA on 11/20 ... Open Cup: Played all 120 minutes in midfield in 1-0 overtime loss vs. KC on 4/6 as Dynamo were eliminated in qualifying round ... Reserves: Has made four reserve appearances ... Played 22 minutes as a sub in 3-2 loss vs. FCD on 5/29, his first game action in more than one month due to injury ... Also came on as a sub for first appearance in more than one month in 3-0 loss at COL on 9/1 ... Played first 45 minutes in 3-0 win vs. CHI on 10/1 ... Also started in 2-0 win at KC on 10/18.

2010 MLS: Made huge leap forward in second season and played in 25 of 30 games, including 14 starts, notching two goals and two assists ... Received two yellow cards in just 12 minutes and was ejected on 4/24 at CHI ... After playing 54 minutes in his first four appearances, impressed in role as second-half substitute of 3-1 loss at RSL on 5/13 ... Made first career MLS start in next game vs. DC on 5/22 and brought immediate energy, scoring first career goal in just nine minutes with right-footed shot that went in off post ... Assisted on second goal to earn Man of the Match honors ... Continued as a starter ever since and was fouled 19 times in next seven games ... Fouls led directly to pair of free-kick goals in 3-2 loss vs. PHI on 5/29 ... Scored opening goal with low, left-footed drive from distance in 2-2 tie vs. COL on 6/26 ... Served corner kick to Brian Ching for go-ahead goal in 1-1 tie at TFC on 7/1 ... Open Cup: Appeared as a substitute vs. Miami on 6/29 and vs. CHV on 7/6 as Dynamo reached quarterfinals ... SuperLiga: Appeared in all three group matches, making two starts ... Already set to be suspended after picking up his second yellow card of the group stage in 1-0 win vs. Puebla on 7/21, Cruz assured himself of suspension with a second yellow card just three minutes later, his second red card of the year.

2009 MLS: Appeared in six MLS games, all as a substitute, in rookie season … Made professional debut as late substitute in 3-2 loss at SJ on 3/28 … Appeared as a sub in four consecutive games on 7/4, 7/11, 7/18, and 7/25 … 08-09 Champions League: Did not appear … Open Cup: Returned from international duty in Egypt in time to make first professional start in 2-0 win at Austin on 7/1 … Started and played 81 minutes in 4-0 quarterfinal win at Charleston on 7/7 … Started and played all 120 minutes in 2-1 overtime semifinal loss at SEA on 7/21 … 09-10 Champions League: Appeared as a substitute in 1-0 win vs. Isidro Metapán on 8/19 … Started and played 72 minutes in 1-1 tie at Árabe Unido on 8/26.

INTERNATIONAL: United States youth international ... 2009: Represented United States at 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt … Helped U.S. qualify in March with two assists in CONCACAF U-20 Championship … Participated in two friendly matches in Egypt in June … Started two of three U.S. matches at U-20 World Cup, including 4-1 win over Cameroon … 2008: One of only two players to appear in seven international games for the U-20 national team, starting six and scoring once … Scored highlight-reel goal with volley in 2-0 win vs. Haiti on 12/20 … 2007: Represented the United States at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea and the Pan American Games in Brazil.

COLLEGE: Played two years at University of Nevada-Las Vegas … 2008: Named first-team all-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after scoring five goals and totaling 13 points, the seventh-best total in the league … Scored game-winning goals against Jacksonville, Oral Roberts (in overtime), and New Mexico … … 2007: Became first UNLV player to earn MPSF Newcomer of the Year honors … Named first-team all-MPSF … Also named second-team freshman All-America by College Soccer News … Scored four goals and notched four assists in only 14 games … Scored game-winning goals against Missouri State and Cal State Bakersfield.

AMATEUR: Led Ironwood High School in Glendale, Ariz., to 2005 Arizona state championship with 23-2 record … Set Arizona record with 70 goals in his career … Earned all-Arizona honors twice and was named all-region three times … Began playing soccer as a freshman as an offseason conditioning program for football … Lettered three years in football and was an all-region running back as a freshman … Also played one year of baseball.

YOUTH: Sereno Soccer Club, coached by Les Armstrong and Brian O'Donnel.

PERSONAL: Full name is Daniel Arthur Quimby Cruz ... Born in Petersburg, Va. ... Son of Al and Janet Cruz ... Did not start playing soccer until his freshman year of high school ... Majored in criminal justice at UNLV … Admires Lance Armstrong and Wayne Gretzky … If not playing soccer, would be playing hockey … Lists favorite vacation spot as Tobago after traveling to Trinidad & Tobago with U.S. U-20 national team in January 2009 ... Appeared in episode of MTV show 'Made' in early 2010 ... Nominated for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year in 2011, raising money for the organization via his Cruzin' for a Cure campaign.

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