Aug 17, 2012, 12:05 PM EDT
If there’s an MLS address where Danny Cruz can develop and reach his top potential, the young man has found it at PPL Park.
Coach John Hackworth (technically still the “interim” coach – so all of this assumes he keeps the spot, which seems increasingly likely) has something special brewing.
Depending on how you count a couple of players, somewhere around nine Philadelphia starters are 24 or younger. Cruz gives the Union one more.
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The Union will not see the post-season in 2012. So it’s smart to use this time to re-set, take a fresh look at younger players and keep both eyes on the future. Adding Cruz, 22, can only abet the cause.
Michael Farfan is developing as a creative midfielder. Freddy Adu can fill that role, too. U.S. under-23 talent Amobi Okugo is playing center back for the time being, but he remains the future at holding midfielder around PPL Park. So Cruz, a bundle of hustle and bustle in the wide areas, adds some balance to the midfield.
And here’s something else that makes Thursday’s move intriguing from Philly’s side: Hackworth knows exactly what he’s getting in the energetic right-sided midfielder. Hackworth had Cruz under his care in a previous post with the Under-17 national team.
Cruz is guaranteed at $106,000 this year, almost half of Lionard Pajoy’s guaranteed amount ($195,000).
Pajoy, by the way, is 31 – practically a grandpa on the young side in Chester.
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