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 San Jose Earthquakes

Earthquakes Acquire Ecuador National Team Midfielder Carlos Gruezo as Designated Player

January 31, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
San Jose Earthquakes News Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Earthquakes have acquired Ecuador National Team midfielder Carlos Gruezo from German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg and signed him to a Designated Player contract through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Gruezo made one appearance for Ecuador during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Click here to download highlights and photos of Carlos Gruezo

"Carlos joins us in the prime of his career after successful campaigns in South America, Major League Soccer, and Europe," said Earthquakes General Manager Chris Leitch. "He's spent the past few seasons in one of the top leagues in the world and previously showed he can be among the best players at his position in MLS."

Gruezo, 27, spent the past three and a half years competing for FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga, making 75 appearances across all competitions. He made 15 appearances, including 14 starts, during the first half of the 2022-23 season.

Gruezo began his career with Barcelona SC in his native Ecuador. He tallied three goals and two assists in 81 appearances between January 2012 and January 2014 before securing a transfer to German side VfB Stuttgart. Gruezo scored one goal in 19 appearances with Stuttgart before joining FC Dallas ahead of the 2016 MLS season for $1.5 million.

Gruezo spent three and a half seasons with FC Dallas (2016-19), making 93 starts in 98 regular-season appearances and tallying three goals and seven assists. Gruezo made an immediate impact with FC Dallas, leading the team to the Supporters' Shield with a league-best 17-8-9 record and a U.S. Open Cup championship during his debut season. It marked Dallas' first and only Supporters' Shield in club history, as well as their first U.S. Open Cup title since 1997. He played his final six months in Dallas under then head coach Luchi Gonzalez, who now holds the same role in San Jose, before joining FC Augsburg in July 2019 for $4.5 million.

"Obviously I know Carlos from his time in Dallas. I had a good relationship with him but only had a chance to work with him for a few months because he was transferred to Germany," said Gonzalez. "I have a lot of respect for him. He's a hard worker and has the obvious tools in terms of ball recovery and intensity. To me, it's a position we need competition, we need leadership, and we need experience. With his signing, I think we have a midfield that can compete with the best in the league."

Internationally, Gruezo has scored one goal in 47 appearances for the Ecuador National Team. He has competed in many prestigious tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2022, and Copa America in 2016, 2019, and 2021. He made one appearance during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, starting vs. Senegal.

Gruezo acquired a U.S. Green Card during his time with FC Dallas, which qualifies him as a domestic player on MLS rosters. He was also listed on Major League Soccer's 24 Under 24 rankings in both 2016 (No. 8) and 2017 (No. 14).

Carlos Gruezo

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-7

Weight: 164 lbs.

Born: April 19, 1995, in Santo Domingo, Ecuador

Preferred Foot: Right

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Ecuador

Previous Club: FC Augsburg (Germany)

College: N/A

Roster Designation: Domestic, Designated Player

Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) - Earthquakes acquire Ecuador National Team M Carlos Gruezo from Germany's FC Augsburg and sign him to a Designated Player contract through the 2025 MLS season with a club option for 2026.

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