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Celtic officially signs, loans Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez

The former college soccer players will begin their pro careers in the USL Championship.

Celtic v RB Salzburg - UEFA Europa League - Group B Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic FC have officially announced the signings of American left back Andrew Gutman and right back Manny Perez. The signings of Gutman and Perez had already been confirmed several weeks ago, but now it has become clear that both players have agreed to three-and-a-half-year contracts.

Gutman and Perez had been on trial with Celtic for several weeks. Gutman rejected a Homegrown Player offer from the Chicago Fire and initially came to Scotland to trial with Rangers, before signing with the Bhoys.

Both players will immediately be loaned out to USL Championship Eastern Conference sides, with Gutman heading to Nashville sC and Perez joining North Carolina FC.

The 22-year-old Gutman finished his fourth year of NCAA soccer this fall and led the Indiana University Hoosiers to the 2018 College Cup semifinals. He scored 11 goals and notched 9 assists in 23 appearances, which led to him winning the 2018 Hermann Trophy (college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy)

The 19-year-old Perez finished his second year of NCAA soccer this fall, leading the North Carolina State Wolfpack to the second round of the 2018 College Cup. He scored 5 goals and added 4 assists in 15 appearances.

Unlike Gutman, Perez has been involved with United States Men’s National Team youth sides. Perez appeared in four matches, for the 2018 CONCACAF Championship-winning U-20 USMNT. For Gutman and Perez, these loans should allow them to acclimate to the professional game and earn immediate playing time.

Do you think these loans will prove to be good moves for Gutman and Perez?