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LAFC’s Josh Perez called up to USMNT preparation camp

Young forward getting a look by Gregg Berhalter.

MLS: 2019 Portraits USA TODAY Sports

U.S. Soccer announced a training camp taking place on May 26-June 2 in Annapolis, Maryland, which will feature some full U.S. Men’s National Team internationals and some U-23 eligible players. Among the players invited to the training camp is Los Angeles Football Club forward Josh Perez.

Perez, 21, is among a cadre of U-23 players called up for the camp, explained in U.S. Soccer’s release as a preparation camp ahead of the Gold Cup, with the U-23 players getting a look by USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter, both as part of the eventual Olympic qualifying cycle and to see if they could break through to the main team at some point.

Perez has made four appearances, all off the bench, for LAFC so far this season, playing 118 minutes. His most notable moment came in a 3-0 road win over Columbus Crew SC earlier this month, when he had an open net late to score his first career MLS goal, but the shot bounced off the crossbar. On the bright side, teammate Adama Diomande cleaned up the rebound and scored to give LAFC an important insurance tally.

The U.S. Soccer release does not really say if LAFC’s provisional Gold Cup call-ups, goalkeeper Tyler Miller, defender Walker Zimmerman and forward Christian Ramirez, will be called up prior to the final tournament roster being submitted to Concacaf on June 5. The language seems to indicate MLS players won’t be, but you never know. Of concern is the June 1 game against the Portland Timbers, the first home game for them of the season and what’s sure to be a tough game for LAFC. It’s obviously a great opportunity for the trio to possibly go to the Gold Cup, but it will be nice if they can play in that game before they’re possibly whisked away for several weeks. We’ll see on that front.

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