For more than three years, FC Dallas have monitored and admired the play of Panamanian striker Blas Peréz from afar. Now, they get to watch him from the sidelines, as Peréz and FCD agreed to terms on Tuesday to bring the well-traveled striker to Frisco, Texas.
“Blas has been a player that has had our interest for years,” manager Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “We’ve had him on our Discovery List since I’ve been here for three-and-a-half years.”
Though the club has had interest in Peréz in the past, his contract, which was owned by Mexican side Tigres UANL, contained a costly buyout clause and loan fee, which FC Dallas wanted no part of.
But their pursuit of the 30-year-old striker went smoothly this time around and required little initial effort by the club.
“It’s interesting because his agent reached out to us on whether we would have interest,” said Hyndman. “At this point, it must have been the right timing for him. We worked on it for quite a while and we are very happy to get it done.”
The club hopes Peréz will be the answer at forward, a position at which the team struggled in 2011. Brazilian Maicon Santos was thought to be the solution after arriving via a midseason trade, but his lack of production prompted his departure this offseason. The team’s other attacking options include Home Grown Ruben Luna and Colombian Fabián Castillo, both of whom are just 19 years of age.
Hyndman has long stressed the need for an experienced finisher with a multitude of skills to help the team. Peréz, known also as “Super Ratón” (Mighty Mouse), fits the description.
“The way we play, he can hold the ball up, combine and be a target,” said Hyndman. “He’s bringing a lot of those types of qualities and that’s what we’re looking for.”
With a lead man in place, the club will now focus on building depth behind their newly acquired scorer.
“It’s a position we still want to address,” said Hyndman. “There’s always the possibility of a national team call-up, World cup qualifications and injuries. We’ve got to give ourselves a little more depth there so that we don’t have to pull Jackson out of position.”
Though the team’s depth at striker is still a work in progress, their attacking core will be strong in 2012. Peréz joins a squad that includes 2010 MVP David Ferreira and rising star midfielder Brek Shea. If the Panamanian can live up to his nickname, the Dallas attack will likely rank among the league’s best.
“The main thing we see is just a striker that has a history of scoring goals everywhere he’s been,” said Hyndman. “I think he’s looking for a new challenge and we’re looking for a goal scorer.”