The Portland Timbers announced on Monday that they have signed midfielder Emanuel “Manny” Perez to a one-year contract but will loan him to MLS expansion side Austin FC for the 2021 season. In return, the Timbers will receive Austin’s natural third-round pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, with additional General Allocation Money in play based on how Perez performs with Austin.
The 22-year-old midfielder most recently played for USL Championship side North Carolina FC, tallying one goal and five assists in 37 appearances (27 starts) over two years with the club. Perez has played for the United States National Team multiple times at the youth level, most notably scoring one goal while adding five assists in four appearances with the U.S. National Team squad that won the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship.
Perez is a North Carolina native who played two seasons at North Carolina State University, scoring six goals with nine assists in 29 matches (28 starts). Perez played with Scottish side Celtic FC in January of 2019 before being loaned to North Carolina FC.
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