Los Angeles Football Club announced on Sunday they have signed 2019 MLS Draft pick Javi Perez.
The midfielder, 22, signs his first first-team pro contract after a four year career at the University of Pittsburgh, an opportunity he got through David Villa’s DV7 Soccer Academy.
“Javi showed great potential during the course of the preseason,” said general manager and EVP of soccer operations John Thorrington in a team statement. “He adapted quickly to the group and we look forward to working with him and seeing his continued progression during the upcoming season.”
Perez was LAFC’s second draft pick in 2019, at 64th overall, and becomes the second of this year’s draft class to sign a contract with the black-and-gold, joining fellow midfielder Peter-Lee Vassell.
A dream come true! Happy and glad to be Black and Gold.— Javi Perez (@Javi8Perez) March 10, 2019
Perez is a Valencia, Spain native and came through Valencia’s academy, where he served as captain for 12 years in the youth ranks. In that way, the connection to Villa, who played for several years at Valencia, is apparent.
He will take up an international roster spot, but he will be able to actively stay on LAFC’s MLS roster, as the club is in no danger of international roster slot clog with the current squad.
Perez’s signing brings LAFC’s roster up to 29 players at present. They have one open roster slot, but as the team has indicated since the start of preseason, I wouldn’t expect much more movement on the roster front during the primary transfer window, which closes in early May. You never know, though! We’ll keep you posted if there are developments.
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