2024 is off to a momentous start for Philadelphia Union Homegrowns Jack McGlynn and Nate Harriel as the pair earned their first-ever senior United States Men’s National Team call-up. They will attend training camp in Orlando until January 18th, then travel to San Antonio, Texas to represent their country in a friendly against Slovenia on the 20th.
“This is an opportunity to identify and work with the next generation of players who have the potential to make an impact on our program,” Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said.
USMNT’s January camp provides young and promising talent additional exposure and experience on the international stage before the coaching staff, led by Berhalter, selects rosters for this year’s significant slate of tournaments including Concacaf Nations League, Copa America, and the 2024 Paris Olympics. McGlynn and Harriel are two of 25 MLS-based players selected for the camp, and they’re also part of a contingent of 11 who are under 23 years old and age-eligible to play on the Olympic squad.
Both Harriel and McGlynn reached the milestone on the cusp of their fourth season with the Philadelphia Union first team; they’ll rejoin the Boys in Blue in Clearwater, Florida for the first leg of preseason training shortly after the National Team friendly.
McGlynn’s prolific left-foot and pinpoint passing are among the qualities that earned him the senior team nod – and it’s one he’s been anticipating for quite some time.
“I'm really excited. I’ve been waiting for it,” McGlynn said.
Last season, he was called up to the USMNT U-23 team in October and November, earning four match appearances during that stretch.
“They sent out a preliminary email, so I was like, 'Oh, I have a chance here.’ Two weeks or a week after that, [Philadelphia Union Head Coach] Jim Curtin texted Nate and I saying congrats, then my agent told me. It was just a really cool feeling and I can’t wait to get started and get there,” McGlynn said.
“I've been looking forward to it for a while now, whether it's been with the U-232s or U-20s at the World Cup. I think everyone always wants that first team call, and I'm just really happy it finally happened.”
McGlynn and Harriel's stay with the USMNT will kick off more than a month of training in the sunshine state before the Major League Soccer season kicks off. Before they switch gears to Philadelphia Union-led preseason, McGlynn is determined continue to display the level of play that recently saw him become a finalist for U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year award.
“I just hope to show what I know I'm capable of, I think Union fans know what I can do, I think I personally know what I can do, and I've been working really hard the whole offseason to stay fit and sharp and getting ready for this camp," McGlynn said.
"So, I'm just excited to go out and show what I can do there.”
The 2023 Major League Soccer season saw Philadelphia Union’s 22-year-old full back further cement his starting role through game-changing efforts throughout the year, especially in must-win situations during the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament and the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
“It’s all moving so fast now. With the Olympics coming up soon, I could be on that team, and solidifying my starting spot here at the Philadelphia Union. It's all happening fast, but it's exciting at the same time.”
Similarly to McGlynn, Harriel played with U-23s last fall, appearing in all four international friendlies, and starting against Mexico, Iraq, and Morocco. Now, he’ll have the opportunity to compete for a spot on the senior team roster during their busy year ahead.
“It's always a goal to play at the highest level you can. Obviously to be on the senior national team no matter what camp it is, in January or anything else it's always a privilege and an honor to be called up to the team. I think as I’ve shown with the youth national team and here in Philadelphia, I want to continue being consistent, sharp and doing my job. Just play my roles to the best of my ability,” Harriel said.
“It means you're doing the right thing, performing well. You can only go up from there. It's always an honor to be selected and it's very exciting to see that the staff sees I'm good enough to be given this chance to begin. Now, I just have to make the most of this opportunity.”