NICK LEYDEN - Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Not long ago, as the January transfer window approached, it was only natural for fans to wonder about Greg Garza's immediate future at GD Estoril Praia.
The Texas-born fullback had yet to make an appearance for Os Canarinhos since his move from Lisbon giant Sporting over the summer. And rumors surfaced that both he and fellow Yank, Bryan Arguez, might be on the move to secure consistent playing time elsewhere.
But rather than a transfer, January instead brought a debut Garza's way, as he came off the bench for the final 25 minutes of Estoril's 1-0 cup loss to Penafiel.
The playing time just may be a sign of the management's faith in his ability to contribute this season. And, as Garza recently told YA, the transfer rumors should be put to bed.
"I will be staying at Estoril," he said. "The news that was saying that I was moving was all false."
Despite playing a key role in winning multiple championships with Sporting's academy team the last two years, Garza admits the transition to life with Os Canarinhos has naturally been a challenge.
"It was definitely a huge move from Sporting and being a junior to becoming a professional at Estoril. There are some huge steps to be made becoming a professional and I believe that it is working out alright for me," he said.
"I am learning a lot as a first year pro, being involved with a lot of experienced players that have been in the game for many years," added the Texan.
The ambitious fullback, who is expected to represent the USA at the U-20 World Cup in Colombia this summer, hopes to continue the learning process and use the Liga Orangina as a springboard to something bigger.
"My dreams are definitely much bigger than the situation I am in right now, but I believe that Estoril is a good place to begin," Garza said.
Os Canarinhos are currently tied for seventh, though only one point separates them from the fourth spot. They host league leaders Feirense on Saturday.