Real Monarchs SLC have announced appointment of former MF Danny Cruz as an Assistant Coach of the club, effective immediately. Cruz will join with reigning USL Coach of the Year Mark Briggs for the 2018 campaign and defense of the league shield.
Cruz will join Assistant Coaches Jamison Olave, who retired as a player following the 2016 MLS season, and Matt Glaeser, who returns for his second season with the USL side after arriving with Briggs after from Wilmington. Cruz replaces former Monarchs assistant Liam Miller, the former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder who joined midseason last year, but was forced to return to his native Ireland to continue his battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Danny owns a very intelligent soccer mind,” Monarchs Assistant General Manager Dan Egner said. “He’s been around the game professionally for a decade and has watched the sport in this country evolve, playing in MLS, USL, NASL and internationally in Scandinavia. He’s extremely enthusiastic and positive with a work ethic that’s second to none. We are excited for him to continue working with the younger players – now in this official capacity – and help them achieve their career goals.”
Cruz, 27, last played in MLS with Philadelphia Union, with whom he played 70 matches before being loaned in 2015 to Norwegian side FK Bodo/Glimt. Prior to that, he played for a short time at D.C. United and Houston Dynamo. After arriving at the Utah club from the San Francisco Deltas of the NASL in August 2017, Cruz appeared in nine matches for the Monarchs in 2017, playing 617 minutes while making six starts. His final appearance as a player was during the penalty kick shoot out which followed the first round playoff with Sacramento Republic FC where he took the initial pk and skied his ball far over the net and ended the match in tears.
“RSL is a club that I genuinely believe in and one that’s treated me with nothing but love and respect from the moment I arrived,” said Cruz, very grateful for the opportunities since arriving last Summer. “For me personally I now need to listen and learn from one of the most impressive staffs in American soccer. I also want to continue to show players in this club – from the first team to the Monarchs and including the Academy and our new NWSL team – what kind of work and commitment it takes to be a good professional. I want all of the players – young and old, male or female – to know they can come to me for whatever they need; chances are I’ve experienced something similar.”
This appointment further strengthens the position of the RSL family as a whole in promoting opportunities for growth at all levels withing the organization. We look forward to following Danny’s growth in this new position and the Monarchs through the 2018 campaign in just a few short weeks.
After this change, the Real Monarchs 2018 roster stands at 14 players as follows:
Goalkeepers: (2) Andrew Putna, Jake Leeker
Defenders: (3) Michael Gallagher, David Diosa, Konrad Plewa
Midfielders: (6) Charlie Adams, James Moberg, Karsten Hanlin, Sebastian Velasquez, Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang
Forwards: (3) Chandler Hoffman, Juan Ignacio Mare, Andrew Brody