Since Schellas Hyndman instituted(stumbled upon?) the 4-5-1 formation that saw his side - and David Ferreira - vaulted into the MLS elite, he's been searching for one missing piece, the alpha dog target forward. Players like Brek Shea, Jackson, Atiba Harris and Jeff Cunningham were tested at the position, sometimes to positive effect, but still the last piece to the puzzle has eluded Hyndman.
That is until January 3, 2012 when FCD announced the signing of Panamanian Blas "Super Raton" Perez. Hyndman had long eyed the big forward, failing in multiple bids to sign Perez, but when Perez's former club, Indios, folded in late 2011, the stars finally aligned.
"It’s interesting because his agent reached out to us on whether we would have interest," said Hyndman after signing Perez. "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 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."
While it can take some attacking players, Ferreira included, up to a half-season to adjust to MLS' rough-and-tumble style, the Panamanian adjusted instantly logging three goals and three assists in his first six games.
Perez missed the middle half of the season due to an injury suffered on international duty, but finished the 2012 campaign with 9 goals and 4 assists in 20 games. One is left to wonder if Perez could have pushed 20 goals had he remained healthy the entire season.
2013 is, undoubtedly, the biggest year in Perez's career as he looks to lead Panama to an historic first appearance in the FIFA World Cup Finals and, if he can stay healthy, could make an assault on the MLS Golden Boot as well.