With 41 goals, Blas Perez (red jersey) is Panama's second all-time leading scorer, trailing Luis Tejada by two. (Photo: Luis Licona/Straffon Images)
COLON, Panama – Arabe Unido announced Tuesday the signing of Panama international Blas Perez, who became a free agent after spending 2016 with Canada’s Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
It will be the 35-year-old forward’s second spell with the Expreso Azul, originally playing for the Panamanian power from 2001-02.
Perez scored two goals in 25 appearances during the 2016 MLS regular season and also netted in a 4-1 win over Central FC in a 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League group-stage match.
Prior to joining Vancouver. Perez enjoyed a successful four-year stint with FC Dallas, striking for 37 goals in 103 regular- and post-season matches.
Since making his debut in 1998 with Panama Viejo, the 6-foot-1 standout also played professionally in Colombia, Spain, Mexico (Tigres, Pachuca, San Luis, Leon, Indios de Ciudad Juarez) and the United Arab Emirates .
With Panama, Perez has earned 111 caps and scored 41 goals. He has played in five editions of both the CONCACAF Gold Cup (team’s all-time leading Gold Cup scorer: 11 goals) and the Copa Centroamericana (only Panamanian to score in three editions of the competition). Perez, who notched two goals in the 2016 Copa America Centenario, has played in eight qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Since Perez has competed in the current edition of the SCCL with Vancouver, he will not be eligible to play in Arabe Unido’s quarterfinal series against FC Dallas, which starts on February 23 in Frisco, Texas, USA.