What may have flown under the radar last week was that Manny Perez, on loan from Celtic to North Carolina FC in the USL has been picked up by Portland Timbers FC of MLS and loaned to the MLS expansion club Austin FC.
The Texas club announced last week that they had acquired the 22-year-old on loan from the Timbers for the 2021 MLS season in exchange for Austin FC’s 2023 natural third-round draft pick, with the option to trade for the player’s permanent rights at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Additional conditional General Allocation Money could be delivered to Portland based on performance benchmarks.
“Manny is a player with great potential who is motivated to make an impact, and we are pleased to welcome him to the Austin FC family,” said Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna in a release by the club.
“I feel blessed and honored to be part of Austin FC,” Perez said. “I look forward to giving my best on the pitch for our fans, my teammates and coaching staff.”
Perez was on loan from Celtic to the USL Championship’s North Carolina FC for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. With North Carolina FC, Perez made a total of 25 starts in 37 appearances, scoring one goal and contributing five assists.
The North Carolina State University and North Carolina FC Youth Academy product spent two collegiate seasons with the NC State Wolfpack, being named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Freshman of the Year in 2017 and earning All-ACC honors twice while in college.
On an international level, Perez has played 12 matches with the U.S. Youth National Team, making five appearances, and scoring two goals with the U-18 team. He has had six appearances and scoring a goal with the U-20 team, and made one appearance with the U-23 team.
Perez was part of the 2018 U-20 Concacaf Championship team, which secured qualification to the 2019 U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Though he’s not in the Hoops, Austin FC’s home kit is green, as is Portland’s. So with that in mind, good luck, Manny!
Mon the Hoops.