With their first pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, New York City FC selected Jesus Perez, an attacking midfielder out of University of Illinois Chicago.
Selected No. 22 overall, there was some question about whether Perez would even join NYCFC. Perez has been on trial in Ireland with Dundalk and there was some confusion on if he had signed with the club.
— UIC Men’s Soccer (@UICmensSoccer) January 9, 2020
It was Perez, himself, who described himself as a “footballer for Dundalk FC” on the dating app Tinder.
An NYCFC spokesperson confirmed Perez was in Ireland, but that the 22-year-old had not signed with Dundalk and would be joining the team for the start of preseason. Perez appeared to back that up on Twitter.
My name is on here, but this isn’t just for me! This is for the support of my family, friends and coaches back home! Thank you NYCFC for the opportunity, let’s get to work ?? https://t.co/CPN1DaBBXd
— jesus p. (@chinaatwn) January 9, 2020
Perez started 16 games during his senior season in 2019, scoring six goals and adding eight assists en route to being named the Horizon Conference Player of the Year for a second straight season. He was also named a second team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches.