By request from one the blog's favorites, Superman Cory, here's a rundown on what you need to know about U.S. left back Greg Garza. Yes, he's not an MLS product, but if you're a loyal follower of the blog, we give you what you want.
Garza's a 23 year-old left back who plays in Mexico for Club Tijuana alongside fellow National Team hopefuls Joe Corona and Paul Arriola. He started his professional career in Portugal with Estoril, but made just four appearances for them before coming back to North America. He's seen his role with the Xolos increase in each of his four seasons entrenching himself as their starting left back. His performance south of the border has garnered some attention from Jurgen Klinsman and he's recorded his first three CAPs for the U.S. appearing in all three post-World Cup matches, while starting the two most recent ones.
The U.S. is always hurting for left backs, as we saw DaMarcus Beasley was able to hold it down at age 32 this year during the World Cup. Garza is a natural lefty with great poise and good soccer instincts, and if he's able to make a good impression early on in the cycle he has a strong change to earn a trip to Russia in four years.
Garza last saw action last night in Tijuana's come-from-behind 2-1 win over Queretaro. He entered the match in the 60th minute down 1-0 and they equalized almost immediately before scoring a game winner in stoppage time. Tijuana is back in action next Sunday against Guadalajara.
Here's Klinsman on Garza after the Ecuador match:
And for kicks, here's some old-school Garza highlights.