Home Sports Next chapter: Jose Perez returns from MLS Next League to play for Argo, then scores goal at SeatGeek Stadium

Next chapter: Jose Perez returns from MLS Next League to play for Argo, then scores goal at SeatGeek Stadium

by staff

After starring as a freshman defender, Jose Perez had planned to not play for Argo this year so he could focus on his club team in the MLS Next league.

Shortly after the high school season began, however, Perez had a change of heart that brought him back to the Argonauts.


“I came back about two weeks after the season started,” Perez said. “I wanted to play because I thought I had lost my confidence and I wanted to regain that.

“Coming off an all-sectional season last year, I wanted to come back and play for that Argo name again.”


As a sophomore, Perez has moved to midfielder, consistently sparking Argo’s offense.

Perez scored the first goal Wednesday night as the Argonauts rolled to a 3-0 victory over South Suburban Red rival Reavis at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

Hubert Grele led Argo (10-7-2, 4-5-2) with a goal and two assists. Simon Cicha added a goal, while Xavier Brant made five saves for the shutout.

Bart Obrochta had five saves for Reavis (5-10-2, 2-6-2).

Coming through under the lights in a pro stadium was a special moment for Perez, who ripped in a 30-yard shot off a pass from Grele in the 25th minute for his fifth goal of the season.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Perez said. “My parents are here watching. At halftime, I went and kissed my mom. It was amazing all around.”

Argo's Hubert Grele, left, tries to get past Reavis' Uriel Urbina (25) during a South Suburban Red game at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.

As far as that crisis of confidence is concerned, Perez is long past that.

“I play every game with confidence now,” Perez said. “I do skill moves. I go one-on-five. All of that.”


After establishing himself as an elite defender last season, Perez has enjoyed the transition to midfielder.

“Midfielder is my main position,” he said. “I could play every position on the field besides goalie, but I really love playing in the midfield. I create a lot of plays and momentum attacks for the team.”

Argo coach Carlos Marquez is happy to have Perez on the field.

“I’m glad he came back because he’s been big for us,” Marquez said. “He was phenomenal at center back last year, but we needed more in the attack.

“Last year, he showed how mature he is for a 14-year-old kid at the time. His IQ is huge — the way he closes down spaces and angles and makes good decisions with the ball.”

Reavis goalkeeper Kamil Staszel (99) and teammate Joseph Munoz (6) and Argo's David Soria (2) clash near the net during a South Suburban Red game at Seat Geek Stadium in Bridgeview on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.

Speaking of good decisions, Simon Cicha and Grele worked a nice give-and-go with 27:51 left. After his initial shot was saved by Obrochta, Cicha put in the rebound on a lunging header for a 2-0 lead.


Grele then scored his team-best 13th goal of the season off an assist from Krystof Cicha to make it 3-0 with 12:34 left.

Reavis had some chances to break through in the second half but could not connect.

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“The kids love playing here,” Reavis coach Mark Gniadek said. “It’s super cool. We’re grateful that we get to play here, and it’s even better getting to play our rival, Argo.

“It’s not the result we wanted, but it’s still a great experience for everybody.”

Reavis' Diego Corona (16) and Argo's Jose Orozco (3) battle for a ball during a South Suburban Red game at Seat Geek Stadium in Bridgeview on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022.

Brant, a sophomore, made sure the Argonauts held the Rams off the scoreboard, delivering big saves on shots from Ahmad Suleiman and Steven Solis down the stretch.

Jose Pepe Orozco, Mohammad Hasan and Michal Gacek aided Brant from the back line.


“This was one of my dreams come true,” Brant said. “To be on this field, performing the way I did, it was wonderful.

“I liked having our fans cheering us on. This grass is so neat. The feeling of being under these lights at SeatGeek Stadium, I loved it.”

Steve Millar is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

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