2021 was Andres Perea’s second season with Orlando City after originally signing on loan from Atletico Nacional in December of 2019. Perea was permanently signed after a 2020 season in which he appeared in every single one of Orlando’s games except for the MLS is Back Tournament final.
Coming into this year, we knew that he would face competition for minutes in a crowded midfield featuring Junior Urso, Sebas Mendez, Uri Rosell and others. So how did he fare during the 2021 season?
Perea played in 27 regular season games for the Lions, starting 16 of those while playing 1,734 minutes. He took 16 shots, putting nine of them on target and scoring two goals, giving him a conversion rate of 12.5%
The 21-year-old passed at an 87.4% rate, with an accuracy of 83% when in the opposition’s half. Perea had one secondary assist and dished out 13 key passes.
On the defensive side of things, he had 21 clearances, nine blocks and 17 interceptions. He won 23 out of 52 attempted tackles (44.2% success rate), 118 of 236 duels (50%) and 30 of 54 aerial duels (55.6%). He also won 18 fouls while committing 27, and was given three yellow cards and one red.
Perea’s best game came in Orlando’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on July 22 at Exploria Stadium. He got the start in that game and went the full 90 minutes, making a large impact on the proceedings in the process. Perea scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the match, getting his head on the end of a great cross by Nani which you probably would have gotten excellent money on pre-match.
During that game, Perea took two shots, passed at an 87.2% rate, with one key pass and one long ball. He also had three tackles, one clearance, one interception and one block. His grade of 8 on the night was tied for the highest on the team alongside Pedro Gallese and Mauricio Pereyra, who was given the Man of the Match award.
2021 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff awarded Perea a final grade of 6 for the 2021 season, the same grade that he received last year. While he only played in four more games this year, Perea logged nearly 600 more minutes than he did during the 2020 season. He had 16 starts this year as opposed to 11 last year, suggesting that Oscar Pareja placed a bit more trust in him after a promising debut season. While he faced plenty of competition in central midfield and was sometimes asked to play out of position when injuries hit the Lions, he delivered consistently steady performances.
Perea had his option exercised by the club and will be back for the 2022 season. He will once again compete for minutes in the midfield with Junior Urso and Mendez both due to be back next year. However, depending on whether or not Rosell returns, Perea could be the first name up when Mendez is called up for international duty with Ecuador. Alternatively, he might still see more game time considering the way Urso slowed down towards the end of the year after logging significant minutes due to the rash of Orlando’s injuries. Perea flashed a bit more of the offensive side of his game with two goals as he found the back of the net for the first time as a Lion. As I said last year, if he can continue to develop that part of his play then he’ll really start pushing past the players ahead of him on the depth chart.
Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)
- Alexander Alvarado (11/26/21)
- Raul Aguilera Jr. (11/27/21)
- Alexandre Pato (11/29/21)
- Adam Grinwis (11/30/21)
- Michael Halliday (12/2/21)
- David Loera (12/2/21)
- Mason Stajduhar (12/3/21)
- Silvester van der Water (12/4/21)
- Matheus Aias (12/5/21)
- Joey DeZart (12/6/21)
- Uri Rosell (12/7/21)
- Tesho Akindele (12/9/21)