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Analysis: Andrés Perea adds depth ahead of playoff push

Can the 22-year-old help push NYCFC over the top?

Courtesy Philadelphia Union

With New York City FC in the midst of a mid-season rebuild as the squad desperately hopes to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, an unexpected transfer came through the door. Friday morning, it was announced that NYCFC acquired Colombian-American midfielder Andrés Perea on loan from the Philadelphia Union. In exchange, the Union receives $300,000 in General Allocation money for 2024 but will retain most of Perea’s wages. NYCFC also has no option to buy Perea upon the conclusion of the loan following the 2023 MLS campaign. 

NYCFC add midfielder Andrés Perea on loan from Philadelphia Union

A versatile No 6

Perea scored three goals in 11 appearances for Philadelphia in 2023 across the MLS, US Open Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions League, operating as an attacking No 6. During his eight MLS matches in 2023, Perea averaged just 20 minutes per match but took 1.1 shots per game. The the 22-year-old midfielder tends to venture forward and join the attack late, a similar play style to that of Keaton Parks. 

Before joining the Philadelphia Union in December 2022, Perea made his name as a midfield anchor with Orlando City SC. From 2020 to 2022, Perea featured in 79 MLS matches for the Orlando outfit, starting 34 times. In those 79 appearances, the midfielder scored three goals and contributed two assists, operating as a deep-lying No 6 in front of the Orlando back line. 

Defensively, the midfielder was solid, averaging 0.5 interceptions and 1.4 tackles per match per Sofascore, while also being dribbled past just 0.9 times per match across his three seasons with Orlando. He won 3.5 duels per match coupled with just one penalty conceded and nine yellow cards — Perea is composed and smart with his tackles. 

Transfer Tracker: 2023 NYCFC summer transfer window edition

Can’t have too much depth

Though NYCFC’s biggest roster concerns remain in attack, the addition of Perea provides cover for a midfield that dealt with injury problems in the past. James Sands, Keaton Parks, and Alfredo Morales are mainstays in the NYCFC Starting XI, but with Parks expected to take paternity leave sometime in August, Perea could find playing time in Nick Cushing’s side. 

With NYCFC advancing to the Round of 32 of the Leagues Cup, and a final push for the MLS Cup Playoffs on the horizon, players will be asked to give maximum effort for the next month at least. The addition of a young, versatile midfielder – especially one who brings lots of potential and fresh legs – is a smart move from the front office.