Cuban U-20 International Goebel Perez Signs with Battery
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Battery announced on Wednesday the signing of Cuban U-20 international Geobel Perez, pending league and federation approval. Perez becomes the first new signing for the Battery ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season, joining 15 players returning from the 2020 campaign so far.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Perez developed in the youth program for FC Ciudad de la Habana until, after a solid performance in the 2018 Cuban Youth Championship, he was called up to the first team. That year he also caught the attention of the Cuban Football Association, joining the U-20 national squad.
The 21-year-old represented his country in the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Perez led the Cuban side with five goals through the five-match group stage including a brace during a 7-0 blowout against Sint Maarten. During the tournament in Bradenton, Fla., Perez was among a group of Cuban players who defected to the United States.
Perez is the latest Cuban arrival in the Battery's history, following in the footsteps of former notable players including Osvaldo Alonso - who was named the USL First Division's Rookie of the Year in 2008 before going onto a legendary career with Seattle Sounders FC and Minnesota United FC in Major League Soccer - and the trio of goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper, midfielder Maikel Chang and forward Heviel Cordoves, all of whom played important roles in the Battery's success in the past decade.
Perez joins the Battery's dynamic attack as a complement to 2020's goal-scoring leaders Zeiko Lewis, Nicque Daley and Stavros Zarokostas.
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