Former Philadelphia Union winger Danny Cruz has agreed to a new contract to coach Louisville City FC through 2025, the team announced on Thursday.
The 33-year-old Cruz is entering his third season at the helm. Last season his squad won the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference and set new single-season club marks for points earned (72) and wins (22).
“I have said this numerous times in the past, but I don’t ever take for granted the opportunity that has been given to me,” Cruz stated in a news release. “I take so much pride in managing this group of men and thank my wife, Brittany, and son, Santi, for supporting me on this journey.”
Cruz made 70 appearances as a player for the Union from 2012-2015. He arrived to Louisville in 2018, then as the top assistant to his former Union head coach John Hackworth, and took over interim head coaching duties one game into the 2021 season. Louisville moved to make Cruz its permanent head coach later that year.
Louisville City is 39-13-13 under Cruz’s direction, averaging two points per game earned. Cruz became the youngest head coach to oversee a squad in the USL Championship Final in October. Sacramento Republic won the final 3-1.
“Danny is a proven winner, and we are thrilled by this extension and his commitment to LouCity,” John Neace, the club’s chairman and CEO, stated in a news release. “We look forward to adding to the trophy case in coming years with Danny at the helm. Both Danny and we believe records are made to be broken, and we’re excited to see him continue to raise the bar.”
A Petersburg, Virginia, native Cruz attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, before launching a nine-year professional career played mostly at the Major League Soccer level. He retired from playing while with the USL Championship’s Real Monarchs SLC in 2017 and in 2018 shifted to that club’s coaching staff before beginning his tenure in the Derby City.
Cruz is one of several Philadelphia Union alumni now coaching in the professional ranks. Veljko Paunović is the head coach at Chivas in Liga MX, Aurelien Collin is an assistant coach with the Houston Dynamo, Jose Kleberson is an assistant coach with NYCFC, Ryan Richter is an assistant coach with the Union and Shavar Thomas is an assistant coach with MLS Next Pro club FC Cincinnati 2.