SANDY, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC announced on Saturday the club had signed six-year MLS veteran midfielder Danny Cruz, pending league and federation approval. Cruz spent the first half of this campaign with the San Francisco Deltas, and will not be available for selection by Head Coach Mark Briggs in Saturday’s 7 p.m. MT kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, as the Utah side looks to improve upon its 9-0-1 home mark this season.
“Danny is an experienced veteran. He’s a professional and a proven winner,” Real Monarchs General Manager Elliot Fall said. “He is a versatile player and we expect him to be able to compete from day one.”
Cruz, 27, has made 137 career MLS appearances, 99 of them in a starting role. He started his pro career with the Houston Dynamo in 2009 after being selected in the third round (41st overall) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He played three seasons with the Dynamo before moving to D.C. United for the 2012 season. He then played two seasons with the Philadelphia Union in 2013 and 2014. In his MLS career, he amassed 12 goals and 13 assists. During the 2015 season, he went on loan to FK Bodo/Glimt in Norway. In 2016, he played for Minnesota United FC before moving to the Deltas this offseason.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining a great team and great organization,” said Cruz. “I'm thankful for this opportunity and I look forward to helping the Monarchs push towards a USL Championship this year."
The Monarchs currently set the pace in the USL with the league’s best record at 15-3-3 (48 points), seven points clear of San Antonio FC in the West and 10 clear of Eastern Conference leader the Charlotte Independence for the race to the top overall seed and home-field advantage in the USL Cup Playoffs. After previously setting a league record with a nine-game winning streak, the Monarchs are currently in the midst of an 11-match home unbeaten streak dating back to last season.