Costa Rican midfielder Shirley Cruz has signed for OL Reign for an undisclosed fee ahead of the 2020 NWSL season.
The 34-year-old has hand first-hand experience with head coach Farid Benstiti. Cruz was coached by Benstiti while playing for Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in France. Both respectably finished as runners-up in the Champions League on two occasions while at PSG.
When asked about the new signing Benstiti said to OL Reign that: “I have worked for many years with Shirley and know she is a special player.
“In addition to her quality, she will bring a footballers’ mind and leadership on the pitch. I am very happy to be working with Shirley again.”
Cruz has taken the professional game not only to different levels but also to different countries. The Costa Rican international has played in France at Olympique Lyonnais and PSG, in China at Jiangsu Suning, in Costa Rica at Alajuelense and finally now in America with OL Reign.
Cruz was just the second female in Costa Rica to play football professionally outside of the country when she joined Olympique Lyonnais in 2005.
Internationally, Cruz captained Costa Rica at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, playing in all three matches and recently made three appearances at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – including the devastating 1-0 loss to Canada in the semi-final.
Cruz said to OL Reign: “The NWSL is a very competitive league, and I am very excited to be part of such a great team.
“I will try to do my best to achieve the goals of the team. It will be a pleasure for me, playing next to great players and a coach that knows me well and knows how to bring out the best in his players.”
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