Los Angeles Football Club announced they have signed defender Lamar Batista, forward Adrien Perez and goalkeeper Phillip Ejimadu. All three players were trialists for LAFC’s preseason, and have been with the team since the first day of 2019 training camp.
“Phillip, Lamar and Adrien have all impressed during preseason and are well-deserving of an opportunity with LAFC,” said General Manager and EVP of Soccer Operations John Thorrington in a statement. “We’re excited to see how all three players fit into our group, and we look forward to seeing each of them develop and eventually reach their potential.”
Batista, 20, joins after spending the last two years in the Portland Timbers organization. He played primarily for Portland Timbers 2 in the USL, but made one appearance for the first team in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup. The towering center back played one year of collegiate soccer before that, for UC Santa Barbara.
The youngster will provide depth for LAFC, behind Walker Zimmerman, Danilo Silva, Eddie Segura and Dejan Jakovic, and could be in line for a USL loan during the season.
Perez, 23, is a native of Ontario, and played collegiate soccer at Loyola Marymount. Most interestingly, he’s been playing indoor soccer for the Ontario Fury, and becomes the latest player to move from indoor to outdoor pro soccer, which has a long tradition in American soccer.
He scored a goal in preseason for LAFC, and with the team’s attack absolutely stacked, he may have to be patient to see some playing time, but you never know.
Ejimadu is 19-years-old, and yet another depth player who has an interesting background. Born in Minnesota, he has a Brazilian mother and Nigerian father, and seemed to spend most of his youth in Brazil. But he’s a U.S. U-20 youth international and saw a fair amount of playing time in preseason for LAFC.
He’ll likely be the third-string goalkeeper for LAFC, but with Pablo Sisniega another newcomer, competition could be fierce between the duo and even starter Tyler Miller.
LAFC now have 25 players under contract, so they have room yet for a few more signings. We’ll see who else is added before the season opens on March 3 against Sporting Kansas City.
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