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18-year-old Josh Perez makes Fiorentina debut vs. Inter Milan


USA U17 v England U17: Nike International Friendlies Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Following in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic, another member of the 2015 U.S. under-17 World Cup team has made their professional debut at a top European club. 18-year-old Josh Perez subbed on in the 75th minute in Fiorentina’s 4-2 loss at Inter Milan.

The California native is the nephew of USMNT legend Hugo Perez and has begun his pro career with a bang, appearing for a very respected club in a top league in the world at only 18.

Perez was deployed on the right flank for Fiorentina who were down a goal and a man at the time of entrance. The diminutive left-footer saw quite a bit of the ball. His first involvement a few minutes after entering saw him collect the ball at the top of the box, cut inside and get taken out. The referee waved play on, and thus his pro career began with a rude moment.

He got several more touches and looked very confident on his big day. He has a very clean first touch and superb technical quality not too dissimilar from Pulisic and several others from that U-17 crop.

Perez joined Fiorentina in February after turning 18 years old. It’s taken him only eight months to crack the first team. A very impressive feat for the youngster. This wasn’t the easiest of scenarios to make his first ever pro appearance, but he handled himself well. Hopefully this is the first of many chances he gets at this level. Congrats, Josh!

For those who’ve never seen him play, here’s a video a really great and handsome video editor made of him from the CONCACAF Championships earlier last year.