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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in MLS, Philadelphia Union, Recent | 3 comments

The Cruz Conundrum

The Cruz Conundrum

Written by special guest contributor to the Union Dues, Rich Ransom.


Since joining the Philadelphia Union Danny Cruz has been a player that has made Union fans choose sides. Love him or hate him that’s how it’s been . He has made fans rip their hair out at times or grab it in amazement. Number 44 has run the sidelines with high energy, excitement, and intensity. However, to some people that’s either too much or not enough.

So what side am I on? Neither. I have been one of the many people who have seen Cruz in a negative light. From yelling out, “Cruz what are you doing?! Pass the ball!” To “Cruz, what kind of shot was that?!” Or the new one, “Why is Danny Cruz so sweaty?”  Yet still, I have been able to show support. “Cruz is fast on the side line.” “Cruz moves the flow of the game on the break perfectly.” Or to what I said when he scored two against Seattle, “I knew Danny’s got it in him!”

To sum it all up I have one thing to say about Danny Cruz: He’s doing his job.

I agree with all the criticism against him. He does take too many touches on the ball while running. I agree there have been many times I’ve watched him run down the wing and have said to myself, “He needs to pass at this point,” and still he doesn’t. But if he can’t find anyone to pass to, can he make the cross?

Cruz gets handed much criticism for not pulling the trigger often enough. He came to the team as a trade for Lionard Pajoy and was to be utilized as a striking forward. However, when Sebastian LeToux returned to the Union in the offseason, Cruz was no longer part of the depth chart for forwards. He was put out on the wing, what is normally not a scoring position.  When criticism is directed toward his lack of successful shots, I consistently respond with the question; What did you expect? Danny Cruz was placed into a position that requires him to drop scoring chances for those who can pull the trigger.

Cruz’s hustle has been constantly questioned due to his lack of results. I agree. His movements on the field lack results. Crosses over the target runner, runs that lead to nowhere, and the mysterious tripping over his own two feet. It’s frustrating to see missed scoring opportunities, still he accomplishes his goal of getting the ball down the field. “Hustle stats” aside, the job of the winger is to get the ball to the other side of the field. Personally, any way he gets it down there is acceptable.

I argue Danny Cruz’s job description is misunderstood. To some, he is a scoring threat who doesn’t back up what’s on his resume. To others, his short comings are expected and not surprising. But as I’ve mentioned, his performance fails to unite support for either side. Considering his results this past game, not choosing a side on how you view Danny Cruz is still OK.

  cruz tackle


  1. I think why most people are frustrated and why I get frustrated with Danny is because we see that he’s got talent. He just never seems to put it all together completely. He’s still young so he has time to grow, but we want to see results now. He does have many attributes that Philly fans love like always giving 110%, tracking back and being a pest to the other team, but maybe he’s trying too much on the offensive side. Let’s face it, most casual fans don’t see the proof in the pudding until they see results (ie. goals, assists) but you can see that he’s trying real hard. We have to give him at least that.

  2. Let’s not forget that he didn’t start playing the sport until he was 15. He is still a raw talent, with a tremendous upside. He wrecked Gonzales all day last weekend… if he had better quality touches it would have been better. But I think it will come.

  3. I was in favor of this deal last year, but that had more to do with how poor Pajoy was. Grant Wahl asked on SI why he was on his third team in 3 years. Well, we see the raw talent and speed an effort. We also see the poor decision making, cement footed touch, inability to cross and up until last weekend, lack of any finishing ability. It doesn’t matter anyway since Hack loves him, he will play regardless. Just lower your expectations that we will get positive results with him in the lineup.


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