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2021 LA Galaxy Player Postmortem: Jonathan Perez

Homegrown attacker made his MLS debut.

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Perez is a player I’ve liked watching the past couple years. The LA Galaxy academy product has shown himself to be a canny attacker at USL Championship level, someone who does the unexpected, or ghosts in plain sight into the box to get a fantastic scoring chance.

He was signed to an MLS Homegrown deal ahead of the 2020 season, but didn’t see any playing time in that star-crossed campaign. He did finally get his chance to at least take the field in MLS this year. After featuring a fair amount in preseason and scoring, he made his bow in competitive action midseason.

Jonathan Perez 2021 LA Galaxy Statistics

2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS 3 0 12 0 0 1 0 0 0

In the end, he made late cameos in three games, making his debut on May 2 in a road loss against the Seattle Sounders, before appearing twice more, in July against Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers. In such limited minutes, there wasn’t much to analyze about his time on the field, obviously.

Once again, the 18-year-old got the bulk of his competitive minutes with LA Galaxy II, making 17 appearances and a little over 1,100 minutes at USL Championship level, where he scored a goal and three assists from a variety of attacking slots on the field.

Perez is a Mexican youth international, and there’s a decent chance he could keep getting call-ups for them and see real playing time in the coming year or two if he doesn’t quite break through to the first team in 2022. I think his skillset is really intriguing, and he seems versatile, hopefully not to his detriment. Perez strikes me as very much a “tweener” in positional terms, but on the bright side, the game is more amenable to hard-to-define attackers than it has perhaps ever been.

But at a club that is clearly trying to actually make use of the homegrown players it produces while also going for the big-name stars, time will tell if Perez will crack the first team in earnest. He’s still very young so I don’t think the book is written on his fate yet, but we’ll have to see what the future holds for Perez.

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