New Charleston Battery signing Geobel Perez in action for Cuba at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
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.
Sacramento Republic FC announced on Wednesday that defender Dan Casey had joined the club, pending league and federation approval. He will be added to Republic FC’s roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC.
“Dan’s addition brings physicality, aggressiveness, and a strong pedigree to our defensive core,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “His intensity and grit fit in very well to our team mentality, and he is the type of defender that opposing attackers do not like facing.”
The 23-year-old defender has experience across the backline, with a majority of his time having been spend at center back and right back. He joins Republic FC after spending the 2020 season with Bohemians FC in the first tier of Irish football, helping lead them to a second-place finish, as well as an FAI Cup Quarterfinals appearance. Casey logged 15 starts in 18 league matches, as well as one Europa League Qualifying and an FAI Cup start.
The Dublin native played for Bohemian FC in 2017 and 2018 before joining Cork City on loan in 2019, where he helped Cork claim a Munster Senior Cup Championship and an FAI President’s Cup Final appearance. In four League of Ireland Premier Division seasons, he started 86 percent of the matches when in the gameday roster.
Casey began his career at Sunderland, spending four years in its player development system and competing with the U-18 and U-23 sides. Casey also has featured for Ireland’s youth national teams in the UEFA U-17 and U-19 Championships.
Sporting Kansas City II announced on Wednesday it had signed forward Preston Judd ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season. Judd will officially be added to the Sporting II roster pending league and federation approval.
Judd recently completed his collegiate career at the University of Denver, where he spent his junior season in 2019 before the 2020 season was delayed until the Spring of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his lone season with the Pioneers, Judd led the team with seven goals and one assist in 19 appearances, while earning 2019 Summit League All-Newcomer Team and 2019 Summit League Tournament MVP honors.
The Las Vegas, Nevada native spent the first two seasons of his collegiate career with California Baptist University, recording 22 goals and four assists in 39 games. He scored a team-high 15 goals in 19 games as a sophomore in 2018, adding two assists, resulting in First Team All-WAC, Second Team All-Far West Region and WAC All-Academic team honors. His 15 goals ranked fifth in the nation among Division 1 programs in 2018.
During his freshman season in 2017, Judd scored seven goals and added two assists across 20 appearances, also earning Academic All-PacWest honors. Additionally, Judd also competed in USL League Two for Orange County SC U-23 during the 2018 season.