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Former Union Academy defender Zach Perez signs with Richmond Kickers

Perez was part of a Philadelphia Union U18 team with six other players who have gone pro

Photo by Jessica Stone / Hendricks Photography

Former Philadelphia Union Academy defender Zachary Perez recently signed a pro contract with the Richmond Kickers in USL League One after impressing in a mid-season tryout with the team.

“Zach really stuck out in our friendly against Prep4Pro and during our midseason tryout,” Kickers head coach David Bulow said in a news release. “We’ve always had success as a club with our open combines, and though getting some players in during the season was a bit of an experiment, we feel we have continued our tradition of finding quality players who are trying to break into the pro game. Zach is very athletic and will give us some good cover at left back for the rest of the season.”

Perez, 22, spent one season with the Philadelphia Union Academy, making 24 appearances and 20 starts as a left back in the Development Academy in 2014-2015. He made 59 appearances over a four-year career at William Patterson University and spent time with FC Motown of the National Premier Soccer League.

During his one season with the Union, the Edison, N.J. native was a teammate of six other future pros in Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty, Steel FC midfielder Zach Zandi, Nashville SC midfielder and former Union homegrown Derrick Jones, Memphis 901 FC midfielder Morgan Hackworth, New York Red Bulls II forward Sebastian Elney and Hobro IK midfielder Yosef Samuel.

Zach Perez in a U18 DA game in 2014 against FC Delco