Former Pitt midfielder Javi Perez was selected by LAFC in the third round of the 2019 MLS draft on Jan. 14, and since then, he has taken part in preseason activities with the team and worked toward earning himself a spot on the roster. His efforts were rewarded on Sunday, as Perez was officially signed by the team, making him a member of the black and gold in 2019.
A dream come true! Happy and glad to be Black and Gold.— Javi Perez (@Javi8Perez) March 10, 2019
”Javi showed great potential during the course of the preseason,” LAFC general manager John Thorrington said, per LAFC. “He adapted quickly to the group, and we look forward to working with him and seeing his continued progression during the upcoming season.”
Perez hails from Valencia, Spain, where he developed his skills in the Valencia CF youth academy over a period of 15 years. His agreement with LAFC is dependent on the team’s receipt of his international transfer certificate and P1 visa. He took part in five of LAFC’s six preseason games.
During his two-year stint in Pittsburgh, Perez appeared in 35 games, scoring six goals and setting up seven others. He also played a central role in Pitt’s offense and was recognized as a second-team All-ACC player on two occasions for his efforts.
In Los Angeles, Perez will be a member of a position group tasked with bringing balance to the team. He is the second Pitt player to be drafted by LAFC in two years but the first to make the team, as Pitt midfielder Pol Planellas was cut before the start of the 2018 season. LAFC went 16-9-9 last year and finished with the fifth-best record in the league.