The Crafty Costa Rican: Getting to know Allan Cruz

In the most recent FC Cincinnati match, a 3-0 win over Portland Timbers, the Costa Rican contingent shone brightly.

The first goal by central defender Kendall Waston got the fans excited, and a second from Allan Cruz sent them over the moon. A third from Frenchman Mathieu Deplagne secured the game for the Orange & Blue.

Cruz had an exceptionally standout performance, winning man of the match honors in only his second match for FC Cincinnati. The 23-year-old was quoted saying after the match, "From my career, it was one of the best goals I have made. I am happy and give thanks to God."

But where was Cruz before this season? Now that he's gotten to showcase his talents on the big stage, let's see what got him here.

He began his professional career playing for Uruguay de Coronado (Costa Rican second division) which spanned from the 2013-2016 seasons. Cruz made a total of 24 appearances (15 starts), scoring one goal.

Cruz earned a reputation for being a shifty playmaker and Herediano noticed.

The Costa Rican first division club signed Cruz before the 2017 season. Here he was finally able to make a true impression. He logged 76 appearances through the 2017 and 2019 seasons, adding ten goals and five assists across all competitions. It was at Herediano that Cruz experienced his first CONCACAF Champions League (2 app, 1 assist), and Scotiabank CONCACAF League (8 app, 1 goal) games.

Herdiano was eliminated from the Champions League in the 17-18 season but bounced back the next year to win the CONCACAF League, a tournament for Central American and Caribbean clubs. Herediano won the final on an aggregate score of 3-2, with Cruz scoring in the first leg fixture.

During his time at Herediano, Cruz earned his first international cap in a friendly against South Korea in September 2018.

Since then, the crafty Costa Rican has made five more appearances and scored a goal against Peru in a friendly in November 2018.

Now Cruz and fellow countryman Waston will have much more time to form some chemistry, something the Costa Ricans and Cincinnati fans alike definitely won't complain about.