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Union Academy lands USYNT prospect Alex Perez from Las Vegas

Perez joins an incoming recruiting class of a dozen previously announced newcomers

The Philadelphia Union Academy can add Nevada to the list of states where they’ve found promising prospects to join their program.

U.S. youth national team prospect Alex Perez recently joined the Union Academy from Heat FC in Las Vegas after impressing at a U14 national team camp in February.

Perez is part of the Union’s U15 team that began training earlier this month and is projected to be a left-sided center back.

“Alex is tenacious against the ball and has many qualities that will fit our style of play very well,” said Jon Scheer, the academy’s director of talent identification. “He has the ability to be a playmaker on the ball and his game understanding is quite advanced for his age.”

Perez spent the last two years playing for a Heat FC team coached by former Norwich City, Stoke City and Toronto FC midfielder Darel Russell.

“When he came to our group he was probably in the middle of the group, and he just, you know, embraced the challenge and put himself at the top of the group and look where he is for that,” Russell said. “I think he’s inspired the players and teammates that he’s left behind to do the same and I just wish him all the best.”

Russell said Perez had his pick among several academies that were interested but ultimately decided on the Union after meeting over Zoom with Scheer and scout Roberto Gimenez.

“This is his passion, this is his dream and that’s where he wants to be,” Russell said.

Perez is one of only two players brought in for the 2020-2021 academy season from outside Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Jake Spadafora, a 2004-born attacking player from Northville, Michigan has joined from Michigan Wolves.