D.C. United have officially signed forward Adrien Perez. United selected the 25-year-old California native in the Re-Entry Draft late last month, and moved quickly to finalize a deal with the former LAFC attacker. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In a team release, United GM Dave Kasper said “We are excited to acquire a player of Adrien’s quality in the Re-Entry Draft. He is an attacking and creative player who has impressed us in his first two MLS seasons with LAFC. Adrien will add some depth and competition at forward and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”
Perez took an unusual route to an MLS contract, going undrafted after a collegiate career at Loyola Marymount before playing indoor soccer with the MASL’s Ontario Fury. A tip from Preki (another player to star in the indoor game before moving to top-flight American outdoor soccer) put him on Bob Bradley’s radar, and Perez won a contract with LAFC after a trial. He went on to make 21 appearances in two seasons, and was generally among Bradley’s first attacking substitutes.
For United, Perez figures into the mix as a striker or out on the wing. While the club has plenty of depth on the flanks — no fewer than nine players on the current roster spent at least some time as an attacking wide player in 2019 or in 2020 — out-and-out strikers are in shorter supply. Ola Kamara and Erik Sorga are the only true strikers under contract, with the versatile Yordy Reyna also in the mix. Earlier in the offseason, the club was in talks with Gelmin Rivas about a return, but those chances appear to be fading.