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LAFC 2020 player postmortem: Adrien Perez

Bad luck in forward’s second season.

Los Angeles FC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Adrien Perez was probably one of the players most impacted by the coronavirus shutdown in the 2020 season.

The LAFC forward was entering his second season with the club, and after getting welcomed back for 2020, despite his underdog story of playing pro indoor soccer before joining MLS, he was getting plenty of kudos in preseason.

In fact, Bob Bradley spoke up and highlighted Perez’s work to get ready for training camp, which is no small feat. Bradley will talk about his players when asked directly, and occasionally he’ll call out a player for a performance, good or bad, unprompted. But he doesn’t usually say “This player has been really impressive in preseason,” so it’s safe so say he was prepared to give Perez a bigger role depending on when the impressive forward corps needed some reinforcement.

Unfortunately, the season shut down after just four games for LAFC, and Perez dealt with injury around the MLS is Back Tournament, which really halted his progress.

Here are Perez’s stats with LAFC in 2020:

Adrien Perez LAFC 2020 Statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 9 2 299 0 0 7 1 0 0
MiB Knockouts 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs 1 0 35 0 0 0 0 0 0
CCL 2 0 29 0 0 3 2 0 0
Total 12 2 363 0 0 10 3 0 0

By the time Perez was able to get into the lineup, as a bench option in the local return to play, he was losing ground on the depth chart at forward to Danny Musovski and Christian Torres. Perez still got some run, and was still counted on to feature when LAFC needed bodies in the final weeks of the regular season, but he didn’t make the move up to a more significant role that was expected coming out of a strong offseason and he wasn’t able to build on a solid debut season in MLS.

And with the likes of Musovski and Torres, as well as Mahala Opoku, coming through to provide depth in attack for LAFC, Perez was the odd man out and he was exposed in the MLS Re-Entry Draft. The bad news is he won’t be continuing with his hometown team, but the good news was another MLS team, D.C. United, picked him up and have already signed him to a contract. With a new head coach in Hernan Losada, it will be interesting to see how D.C. play this season and how much Perez will be used, but hopefully he gets a real run in a new black shirt.

I think Adrien Perez is a player who showed he had the close control that Bradley absolutely appreciates, and he was very close to notching a few more goals in his LAFC run, with his fearlessness in pulling the trigger in the box always a good sight. It’s a bummer it didn’t work out for him, because he’s an easy player to root for, but hopefully he finds a new level moving forward in his career.

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