Pitt midfielder Javi Perez earned an invite to the 2019 MLS Player Combine, according to an announcement from MLS on Thursday. Perez will be just the second Pitt soccer player to attend the combine. The first was former Panthers midfielder Pol Planellas in 2018.
”I’m very excited for Javi,” Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich said, per a press release from the university. “It’s a recognition of his talents and all that he brought to Pitt, so obviously it’s a tremendous moment for our program. I think Javi is ready for this opportunity, and he realizes the challenges that come with it. I wish him the best as he pursues this opportunity.”
Perez was a key component of the 2018 Pitt squad, as he served as the Panthers’ captain and ranked second on the team in goals and assists, with four and three, respectively. It was his second season as Pitt’s captain, as the title was bestowed upon him in 2017 as well, and over the past two years, he earned back-to-back second-team All-ACC honors.
The midfielder is one of just 60 collegiate players to earn an invite to the combine thus far. While he is the only Pitt player who will be in attendance, a significant amount of ACC talent will be on display, as 15 players from the conference were extended invitations. Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest will be represented in addition to Pitt.
Representatives from each of the league’s 24 teams will attend the combine to evaluate the top collegiate talent in the country. The event will take place in Orlando, Florida, from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. Through his participation in the combine, Perez will be eligible for the MLS SuperDraft, which is set for Jan. 11.