CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina FC Academy product Manny Perez signed with Scottish Premiership side Celtic FC, according to a news release Thursday from NCFC.
Perez, also a standout defender with the United States’ U-20 team, has been loaned back to NCFC, pending league and federation approval and the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, the release said.
The Garner native played in 14 matches, making 13 starts, for North Carolina State University in the 2018 season. He had a goal and five assists.
“I’d like to thank Celtic FC for signing me and allowing me to continue my development at my hometown club,” Perez said in the release. “I’m excited to start my professional career with NCFC and look forward to working with my new teammates and contribute to the success of the club.”
The Associated Press reported that Perez signed a 3 1/2-year contract with the Scottish club.
Celtic also signed fellow defender Andrew Gutman. The 22-year-old won the Hermann Trophy as the best men’s college soccer player last year with Indiana.