FRISCO, Texas (Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016) – FC Dallas has signed Ecuadorian midfielder Carlos Gruezo, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate, the club announced today. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
“His versatility will give us the opportunity to play a variety of formations, but most important for me is to see a player who, despite his age, has been at the highest level of international competition and has played at different positions, which makes me think we can use him in a variety of roles, and that is important in Major League Soccer,” said FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. “The experience he has representing his country at different tournaments around the world is important for a player’s development. With the young core we have on our roster, another international player like Gruezo makes the entire group better.”
Gruezo, 20, joined Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart after signing a four-year contract with the club in January 2014. Four months later Gruezo made his debut for Ecuador’s senior national team as a second-half substitute versus the Netherlands on May 17. A few weeks later, he was named to Ecuador’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.
In the fall of 2014, Gruezo scored his first goal for Stuttgart in a 4-1 victory over Freiburg, becoming the first Ecuadorian player to score in the Bundesliga. Overall he has made 18 appearances for Stuttgart and 10 for the Ecuador Men’s National Team since 2014.
Gruezo was the fourth-youngest player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup behind Fabrice Olinga (Cameroon, Malaga), Luke Shaw (England, Manchester United) and Julian Green (USA, Bayern Munich). He is also the second-youngest player to have started a match at the 2014 FIFA World Cup behind only Luke Shaw.
The 2015 season marked one of the best in franchise history for the Dallas side, which fell to eventual MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers FC in the Western Conference finals. Following the regular season FC Dallas tied with New York Red Bulls for the best record in all of Major League Soccer at 18-10-6 (60 points) and established itself as one of the most exciting young teams in the league. Fabian Castillo and Acosta earned accolades as the best in MLS under the age of 24, while Castillo and captain Matt Hedges both picked up Best XI nods following the season. Hedges and head coach Oscar Pareja were named finalists for Defender and Coach of the Year, respectively.
Limited tickets for the 2016 season opener at Toyota Stadium versus Philadelphia, presented by AdvoCare, are available now starting at $26. For more information, visit FCDallas.com, or call 888.FCD.GOAL (323.4625). Season ticket packages, including the home opener, July 4 and multiple marquee matchups, are also available starting at less than $16 per match. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fcdallas.com/memberships.