Four days after the arrival of Marcelo Sarvas from LA Galaxy, the Colorado Rapids have signed a second experienced midfielder, this time in the form of 28-year-old Sam Cronin. Cronin joins from San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money.
"We're extremely excited to have Sam join our group," said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. "He's a player that garners respect from opponents and teammates alike because of his competitive mentality and his will to win.
"Sam brings a sophisticated level of play along with leadership qualities which will raise the standard of our entire group as we continue to build for 2015 and beyond."
Cronin has played six seasons in the league, having begun life at Toronto FC after being picked third overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He made 27 appearances (26 starts) in his rookie season, logging 2,363 minutes for third-best on the team. His first professional goal came at BMO Field on June 13, 2009 in a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls.
After making just a handful of appearances for Toronto the following season, he was traded to the Quakes in June, 2010 for allocation money. During his four-and-a-half seasons in California, the central midfielder was one of the mainstays of the side. Indeed, in 2014, he played the most minutes for a field player (2,537), and passed John Doyle on the Earthquakes’ all-time games started list with 130.
Rapids fans may recall Cronin's goal at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the summer of 2013. His strike against the Rapids on June 15 of that year was a game-winner, the first of his career.
The Atlanta-born Cronin featured for the Quakes in the CONCACAF Champions League last season. He also has two USA caps to his name. Both appearances came in the 2009 Gold Cup, including nine minutes as a substitute in the final, which the USA lost 5-0 to Mexico.