Krutzen has featured in 10 matches for Reading in 2018. (Photo Credit: Dave Musante)
Matt Hedges, Ray Gaddis, Keegan Rosenberry and Ben Sweat. Reading United has helped to produce a number of defenders now playing in Major League Soccer. Daniel Krutzen wants to join that elite group.
Krutzen, a defender born in Belgium and who plays collegiately at the University of Albany, has played his way on to this year's Premier Development League’s Top Prospects list and has been caught the attention of coaches and scouts at the next level. The PDL currently ranks the Reading defender as the seventh best prospect in the league.
Daniel Krutzen's soccer path has seen him play the beautiful game all over the world, from his native Belgium to the United States.
Krutzen has been playing soccer for his whole life and it earned him the opportunity to play over in Belgium while he was working towards earning his college degree. Trying to play soccer while going to school is much more difficult in Belgium than it is here in the United States. “Playing soccer and trying to go to college is a very difficult combination in Belgium,” said Krutzen. “My coach recommended to me that coming over to the United States would make things easier for me to handle”.
Daniel credits his mother knowing someone to helping him get his foot in the door and over to the United States. The United defender explained, “By chance my mother’s friend knew someone who would help players trying to come over and play in the United States. He helped me to send out my highlight tape and soon after, I had up to 15 different scholarship offers to play at different schools. After I narrowed it down to a final three I decided that Albany was the best choice for me."
Daniel's play in college is what helped to get him into the PDL circuit and a teammate of his at Albany helped to get him involved with PDL club F.C. Tucson in Arizona. “My teammate had played for the club the year before and told me that if I wanted to make the pros in the United States that it was a good idea to play summer ball to get maximum exposure." Once his teammate had talked to the F.C. Tucson coach, Krutzen made the jump to play for the Arizona based PDL squad during the 2017 season. In just 10 games for F.C. Tucson, the young defender was able to make an impact by scoring five goals and adding two assists as well.
Following the 2017 NCAA season at the University of Albany, Krutzen knew it would be in his best interest to continue to play summer ball to gain more exposure, this time it was another teammate and his coach that helped get him to Reading.
Though Daniel had opportunities to play with top PDL clubs like Oklahoma City Energy U23s, the Michigan Bucks, Thunder Bay Chill and he also had the opportunity to return for another year out in Tucson. He ultimately chose Reading for a number of reasons the first being the Albany connection. Krutzen’s coach at Albany had known Reading Head Coach Alan McCann.
Another big part of Daniel joining our team was the opportunity to play with his Albany teammate and close friend Nico Solabarrieta. “Nico had played here two summers earlier and he told me about how nicely everything was run within the organization. Playing with Nico was also a big part of it,” according to Krutzen. “We had talked about playing together so playing with him ultimately went into my final decision." Based on travel and the closeness to his college of Albany, he chose to play here this summer.
One of the great things about playing here in Reading is the fact that our guys get to play with our professional clubs, the Bethlehem Steel and Philadelphia Union. Daniel has been lucky enough to make the trip down this summer and had a chance to practice with some of the guys. “I had an opportunity to practice with the Steel once this summer and it was awesome. The tempo they play at is so high and everyone there is really professional. Daniel also enjoys the amenities offered at the facilities, “They provide good food for the guys both before and after practice which is always cool to have”.
As the season nears it's conclusion, Krutzen has been a crucial piece in United's success. As unbeaten Reading chase a second division title in three years, the young defender and his teammates have a legitimate chance at etching their names next to some of the great Reading United teams of the past.
Daniel Krutzen in action for Reading. (Photo Credit: Dave Musante)