Garza warming up prior to a game at Buck Shaw Stadium, July 2012
|Full name||Samuel Cruz Garza|
|Date of birth||October 17, 1989|
|Place of birth||Carrollton, Texas, United States|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|2005–2008||Edward S. Marcus High School|
|2010–2011||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos||44||(17)|
|2012–2014||San Jose Earthquakes||12||(0)|
|2014||→ San Antonio Scorpions (loan)||2||(0)|
|2014||Arizona United SC||9||(1)|
|2015||Seattle Sounders FC 2||23||(4)|
|2016||Arizona United SC||23||(2)|
|2008–2009||United States U20||7||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of September 28, 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of September 28, 2016
Samuel Cruz Garza (born October 17, 1989) is an American soccer player.
Early life and education
Garza was born on October 17, 1989, in Carrollton, Texas. After his father's job moved him to New Mexico, he returned to Highland Village, Texas, to attend Edward S. Marcus High School and play on the school's varsity soccer team from 2005 to 2008. Garza would win back-to-back Texas Class 5A State titles with the team and was named as the 2008 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year and a NSCAA All-American.
Garza attended the University of Denver and played college soccer for the Denver Pioneers men's soccer team. He made 20 appearances for the Pioneers and scored 4 goals before tearing his ACL and meniscus early in his sophomore year.
Garza transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara, joining up with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team ahead of the 2010 season. He was the first United States U20 team player to join the Gauchos. In his two years at UCSB, Garza made 44 appearances, scoring 17 goals and assisting on 10 others.
San Jose Earthquakes
Following his junior year, Garza was signed by Major League Soccer to a Generation Adidas contract and forwent playing his senior season at UCSB. He was drafted in the first round, sixth overall, by San Jose Earthquakes in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, two spots behind Gaucho teammate Luis Silva.
San Antonio and Arizona
In February 2014, San Jose sent Garza on loan to North American Soccer League side San Antonio Scorpions. Garza, on his loan to San Antonio, has stated "When I got loaned to San Antonio Scorpions, it was one of the worst times of my life. I was not enjoying my football." He would make 2 appearances in total for the club before San Jose waived him in July 2014.
Garza joined USL PRO side Arizona United SC for the remainder of the 2014 season. He appeared in 9 games, scoring once. While playing for Arizona United, he caught the attention of Ezra Hendrickson and a conversation with Sigi Schmid ensued, leading Garza to Seattle. At the conclusion of the season, Garza returned home to Texas without future soccer-playing prospects and set forth as a part-time substitute teacher for the Lewisville Independent School District.
Seattle Sounders FC 2
Following his conversations at the end of the prior season, Garza went on trial with Seattle Sounders FC 2 of the United Soccer League in February 2015. His trial was successful and he signed with the club in March 2015. He appeared in 23 games, adding 4 goals and 2 assists, but he was not retained for the following season.
Return to Arizona
Garza was re-signed by Arizona United in February 2016 for the 2016 USL season. In November 2016, Garza was named as the head coach for the Marcus Marauders Football Club (MMFC), the Boys Soccer team at his alma mater Edward S. Marcus High School, in Flower Mound, Texas.
Garza was a member of the United States men's national under-20 soccer team from 2008 to 2009. His first game was December 20, 2008, against Haiti U20 and he scored his first U20 goal against the Canada U20 team just days later on December 22. He later represented his country at the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Garza was named to the U-20 team by Thomas Rongen for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, but had to be replaced due to his knee injury suffered with Denver Pioneers. He made a total of 7 appearances with 1 goal for the U20 side.
- "Arizona United Soccer Club signs Sam Garza". Arizona United SC. July 23, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Griffith, Branden (May 4, 2015). "To Be A Sounder: Sam Garza sees Seattle as second chance to make his mark". Seattle Sounders FC. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Ivory, Robert (March 23, 2013). "Earthquakes' Garza Ready For Breakout 2013". ISNSoccer.com. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "2008–09 Denver Combined Team Statistics" (PDF). Denver Pioneers. July 24, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "2009–10 Denver Combined Team Statistics" (PDF). Denver Pioneers. July 24, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Kennedy, Paul (September 10, 2009). "Denver loses U-20 standout Garza with knee injury". Soccer America. Oakland, California. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Gauchos nab their first U-20 team recruit". Presidio Sports. February 13, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "2010 UC Santa Barbara Overall Individual Statistics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. December 17, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "2011 UC Santa Barbara: Lineup". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Sam Garza Signs Generation adidas Contract, Will Forgo Senior Season at UCSB". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. December 26, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Five players named to 2012 Generation adidas class". Major League Soccer. December 29, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Almond, Elliott (January 12, 2012). "San Jose Earthquakes take UC Santa Barbara's Sam Garza with No. 6 pick in MLS draft". San Jose Mercury News. San Jose, California. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Quakes loan Bingham, Garza to San Antonio Scorpions". San Jose Earthquakes. February 27, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Earthquakes release Garza, Neil and Sofia". San Jose Earthquakes. July 1, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Arizona United 2014 Statistics". Arizona United SC. Archived from the original on April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Ramirez, Rachel (March 6, 2015). "Flower Mound soccer player getting back in the game". The Marquee. Flower Mound, Texas. Retrieved April 12, 2016 – via The Dallas Morning News.
- Pentz, Matt (March 14, 2015). "S2 confirms signings of defender Aaron Long, forward Sam Garza". The Seattle Times. Seattle. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Clark, Dave (March 14, 2015). "Sounders 2 sign two players with MLS experience". www.SounderAtHeart.com. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Arizona United SC Brings Back Forward Sam Garza". Arizona United SC. February 5, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "U.S. U-20 MNT Tops Haiti, Canada to Round Out Camp in Sunrise, Fla.". United States Soccer Federation. December 22, 2008. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "CONCACAF Trinidad & Tobago 2009 Under-20 Tournament Recap" (PDF). CONCACAF. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Thomas Rongen Announces 21 Players to Represent the U.S. at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup from Sept. 24-Oct. 2 in Egypt". United States Soccer Federation. August 28, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "2009 Statistics: United States U-20 men's national team". United States Soccer Federation. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
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