From: Nicoya, Costa Rica (international spot)
Former Team: CS Herediano
Market Value: $455K
Allan Cruz, a promising young midfield talent, joins FC Cincinnati from CR Herediano in Costa Rica. At the tender age of 22, Cruz boasts 100 appearances since making his professional debut in 2015. During those appearances, he’s scored 10 goals and contributed 6 assists, with the bulk of his action coming during the 17/18 season.
His recent success earned him an invitation to the international stage last year. He now has six appearances with the senior Costa Rican national team, all friendlies in 2018. He tallied a goal with his head in a friendly against Peru last November.
Cruz also participated in both the CONCACAF Champions League and CONCACAF League with his former team. CR Herediano won the latter in 2018. Here’s a highlight of one of Cruz’s finer moments in CONCACAF League play.
Three Things Alan Cruz Brings to FC Cincinnati
Versatile Midfield Play
Recent reports labeled Cruz as the “N’Golo Kanté Tico.” While French midfielder Kanté is best-known for his defensive talents, Cruz most often played at Herediano in central midfield alongside a more defensive player. The linked article cites Cruz’s teammate and mentor, Tico veteran Randall Azofeifa, arguing that Cruz is really a “typical European #10” and praises his ability to “attack spaces.” Perhaps Cruz can evolve into that attacking midfield role for FC Cincinnati. Alan Koch likes to have a full stable of midfielders suited to playing various roles, and Koch referenced Cruz’s versatility in a Tweet welcoming him to Cincinnati.
Another Tico in the Team’s Spine
Allan Cruz joins veteran center back and Costa Rican international Kendall Waston in Cincinnati, who looks certain to be a mainstay on the team’s back line. The MLS veteran has 30 caps for the Ticos and should be a great mentor for Cruz as he begins his journey in America’s first division. The image below shows Waston (back row, third from right) and Cruz (first row, far right) together with the Costa Rican national team.
FC Cincinnati’s 2019 roster build has focused on veteran talent. While Cruz has quite a few pro appearances under his belt, he’s the youngest of FC Cincinnati’s international transfers. His value as an asset should increase as he reaches the prime of his career. If he continues on the current trajectory, Cruz is no doubt a player that could attract interest from high-paying European outfits. This piece of business stands out as one that’s most likely to yield some future profits for FC Cincinnati.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s offseason and MLS roster build.