In what is one of the more surprising moves by Real Monarchs in the last week — a week that, for what it’s worth, is full of them — they’ve added 27-year-old MLS veteran Danny Cruz.
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. His last club was San Francisco Deltas in the NASL, and in 2016, he played with Minnesota United during their NASL campaign.
In a press release, Real Monarchs general manager Elliot Fall praised Cruz’s versatility.
“Danny is an experienced veteran. He’s a professional and a proven winner,” he said. “He is a versatile player and we expect him to be able to compete from day one.”
A graduate of UNLV, Cruz is the second winger to join Real Monarchs in the last week. He’s coming in alongside Costa Rican national team outsider Diego Calvo, who also plays on the wing, and Juan Mare, an Argentine forward.
Cruz will be the oldest player on the Real Monarchs roster, and it’s a move that is frankly a little surprising. It’s almost certainly an attempt by RSL to bring in a player that might have an outside shot at making the first-team squad in 2018, but it may also be an opportunity to build a group of players at Real Monarchs who can best lead and mentor the young, dynamic corps at Real Monarchs.
Whatever the reasoning, it’s a very interesting time to be following Real Monarchs.