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Syracuse men’s soccer: Orange alum Nico Perea selected to US national team for FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

Perea will join the US National Team in the United Arab Emirates for the prestigious tournament in February

USA V Paraguay: Group A - 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Syracuse Orange men’s soccer alum Nico Perea will feature on a 12-man 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Roster in mid-February as they travel to the United Arab Emirates. Whilst Perea will be representing the red, white, and blue; he will also be representing the Orange.

The 31-year-old featured for ‘Cuse between 2011 and 2014, serving as team captain his final two seasons. Perea was a top player for the Orange, and played in every game across his four seasons spent in Central New York, amassing an incredible 6,700 minutes. The Colombian-born stalwart scored ten and assisted three across his four seasons.

Following his Syracuse career, the defensive midfielder bounced around from team to team as a professional in the NASL and USL. After six years, Perea called for the curtains on his pro soccer career.

Growing up in Florida, Perea had used beach training as practice for his game on the grass. After his professional career ended, he decided that his skill on the sand had the possibility to take him even further than his skill on the grass.

Perea began competing in high-level beach soccer in 2019, eventually joining in on tours in which he would showcase his skills to the coaches of the US Beach Soccer First Team. Eventually, Perea’s skill, professionalism, and hard work paid off as he joined the US team in 2021 for the North American (CONCACAF) Beach Soccer Championships. From then on, Perea became a significant part of the team.

The World Cup will kick off on the 15th of February and last until the end of the month. 16 teams compete in the tournament which begins with four groups of four where each team will play each other. Following the group stage matches, first and second-place finishers will move on to a knockout-style tournament for the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals.

The US will not be favorites going into the tournament as they were 13th in the FIFA World Rankings at the end of 2023. The favorites for the tournament are Brazil (ranked first overall), Portugal (ranked second), and Spain (third).

The US secured a tough draw for the group stage which features Italy, an elite team ranked sixth in the world. The US will also have a tough matchup against eighth-ranked UAE, who will have strong backing from the home crowd. The final group match for the US will come against unranked Egypt.

With his recent successes in the team, Perea will certainly be a key player and likely start in one of the defensive positions for the US. Syracuse soccer fans should keep tabs in the hope that the former Orange captain will help lead the nation to international glory.

We will provide an update on Perea’s status after the group stage concludes.