Cruz Headed To Houston
Jan. 15, 2009
LAS VEGAS - UNLV's Daniel Cruz became the third Rebel to be drafted by Major League Soccer in school history, as the Houston Dynamo made the Glendale, Ariz., native the 11th selection in the third round and 41st overall on Thursday at the 2008 MLS SuperDraft in St. Louis.
"I'm excited to be part of MLS and adidas," said Cruz. "Getting drafted is a feeling that I will never forget. Houston Dynamo is known as one of the best programs in the MLS, and I'm proud to now be a part of it."
"We're very excited, this is a great opportunity for Danny," said UNLV head coach Mario Sanchez. "Houston is a great place for your players to go to, they have a very good tradition of developing young talent, and I don't think there could have been a better situation for him to end up at."
Cruz, a 5-9 sophomore, is one of nine players in the Generation adidas program, a joint venture between U.S. Soccer and the MLS that will offer a college tuition stipend for players to continue their college education after turning pro. Cruz has signed a three-year contract with the league, with an option for two more years.
The Glendale, Ariz., native earned first team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors twice for the Rebels, and was the first freshman All-American in team history when he was named to College Soccer News All-Freshman Second Team in the 2007 season. He scored five goals this past year and had 13 points, which tied him for seventh in the MPSF, and over his two years as a Rebel, Cruz posted nine goals and seven assists for 25 points. Cruz was also the 2007 MPSF Newcomer of the Year.
Cruz has been a member of the U-20 National team since the spring of 2008, and also played on the U.S. National Team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the summer of 2007.
All three Rebels that have been drafted by MLS have now all been selected in the third round, as Victor "Boomer" Arbelaez was the 30th pick of the 2005 draft and Rod Dyachenko was the 31st selection in the 2006 draft.