D.C. United shored up their midfield via trade with the Houston Dynamo on Friday, landing 22-year-old Danny Cruz in exchange for a partial allocation.
Cruz saw time in 20 matches (13 starts) during the Dynamo’s 2011 campaign, collecting two goals and three assists, despite missing time due to a quad injury. He started all four of the Dynamo’s postseason matches, including the 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy in MLS Cup 2011 before the club left him unprotected for the Expansion Draft.
“We’re pleased to have concluded a deal to acquire Danny from Houston,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. “He is a tenacious player who brings a lot of energy and bite to the midfield and we are thrilled to have him at United. At 22, he has enormous upside and we look forward to his contributions for years to come.”
Cruz started 14 of the 25 matches he played in for the Dynamo during 2010, notching two goals and two assists in 1,362 minutes on the field – his career high. During his rookie campaign in 2009, he was used as a substitute on six total occasions, totaling 107 minutes on the pitch.
Houston originally acquired Cruz in the third round (41st overall) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft as a member of that year’s Generation adidas class. He graduated from GA status following the 2011 season.
Cruz has also been a member of the US youth national team at various levels since 2007, when he represented his country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. Most recently, he wore the US shirt at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, starting two of three matches played in the tournament.
WATCH: Cruz scores from distance for Dynamo