Oakland Roots SC announces the signing of 18-year-old attacker Etsgar Cruz to a long-term professional contract with the team.
Oakland Roots SC announces the signing of 18-year-old attacker Etsgar Cruz to a long-term professional contract with the team. The Modesto, California native has been part of the organization for nearly three years, and is yet another standout from Project 51O to earn a professional contract with the first team. This signing represents the first player in club history to go through the entirety of the development pathway, from Roots Recognize to Project 51O, and now Oakland Roots SC.
“We are very proud of the way Etsgar has grown within our set up and shown his consistent quality over the past few years,” said Oakland Roots Technical Director, Jordan Ferrell. “He represents the way we designed our program and pathway to work, from Roots Recognize Initiative through Project 51O and into the first team. Etsgar’s toughness, space-time perception, and comfort in tight spaces have been evident along with his incredible work-ethic at each step of our pyramid and he is one we are very excited about now and for the future.”
Etsgar Cruz made his debut for the first team in 2023 coming in off the bench in a 1-1 draw in July against Detroit City FC. He would go on to make two appearances for the first team this season following the signing of his Academy Contract in the fall of 2022.
Cruz was part of the USL League Two Division Championship Project 51O Squad in 2022, scoring the division clinching goal in the last second of the last regular season match to help lead the team to the title. Prior to signing with 51O, Cruz was discovered by the Club’s Roots Recognize Initiative program, earning a spot in training before making the team officially. In 2023 he was involved in training with Oakland Roots for the entirety of the season earning an Academy Contract and appearing in the squad in nine games.