In a move that could foreshadow a departure, the Philadelphia Union has acquired Orlando City central midfielder Andrés Perea for up to $850,000 in allocation money.
The Union announced the deal on Monday that will send Orlando $450,000 in 2023 general allocation money, $300,000 in 2024 GAM and up to $100,000 in additional GAM if certain conditions are met. Orlando will also retain a percentage of any future transfer fee for the 22-year-old from Tampa.
Perea, who made his debut with the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2021, also signed a new contract with the Union for a guaranteed three years with a team option for 2026.
“We know Andrés both from our league as well as various international tournaments and were immediately impressed with his ability and tenacity,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner stated in a news release. “Andrés is a versatile player who can play multiple positions in our system. We believe he is ready to take the next step in his development and will challenge for a significant role as he learns our style of play and integrates into the team.”
Perea’s acquisition could foreshadow additional departures within the squad. Jose Martinez has been the starter at the No. 6 position while captain Alejandro Bedoya and Leon Flach have played the bulk of the minutes as No. 8s.
Jesus Bueno, 23, fits a similar profile to Perea and the Union acquired 21-year-old Kenyan holding midfielder Richard Odada in August.
Perea is best known to Union fans for his golazo in the 2-0 win over the Union in last year’s U.S. Open Cup. He also scored against the Union in a league game last September and in July 2021. His only other goal for Orlando City came in 2021 against the Chicago Fire.
Perea was a late substitute in Orlando’s U.S. Open Cup final win over Sacramento Republic.
He initially signed on loan with Orlando City SC for the 2020 season before joining on a permanent transfer ahead of their 2021 campaign from Colombian club, Atlético Nacional. In his three seasons with Orlando, Perea made 74 appearances (34 starts), registering three goals and three assists in that time.
He represented Colombia as a youth international but FIFA granted Perea a one-time switch to represent the United States Men’s National Team competitively in January 2021 ahead of his debut for the United States when he came on as a half-time substitute in a 7-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in an international friendly. In March of 2021, Perea was named to the United States Men’s National Team U-23 squad for the 2020 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, earning four appearances.