At the foundation of Philadelphia Union’s philosophy is the full embrace and belief in players that are deemed by the rest of the world as young, and sometimes too young to be regular contributors. This willingness to give young players the chance to showcase their skills in pressure moments is showcased once again on the league stage as Jack McGlynn, Paxten Aaronson and Leon Flach are recognized in the MLS 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR.
With a dazzling soccer mind and brilliant left foot that can drop a 40 yard pass on a dime, McGlynn debuting at No. 10 in the league’s list of the top young players is a strong starting spot but looks like the first step on an upward arc for The ‘Murican Medunjanin.
After 19 regular season appearances and just over 600 minutes last year, a confident McGlynn burst onto the MLS Cup Playoffs scene. Subbed into a gritty contest against Nashville SC, the homegrown had ice in his veins in the penalty kick shootout that advanced the Boys in Blue to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The 19-year-old has only shined brighter since then for both club and country, helping guide the United States squad back to the FIFA U20 World Cup and the Olympics with a resounding performance at the Concacaf U20 Championship. When he returned to Philly, McGlynn got his first start and went 89 minutes in a 2-1 home win against New England Revolution.
Two weeks later, McGlynn showed off more than just passing with his left foot as he waved off Kai Wagner and Jakob Glesnes to unleash a golazo of a free kick for his first MLS goal against the Houston Dynamo. The confidence that blast generated has led to three assists during the Union’s run up to the MLS Cup Playoffs, with the midfielder now a near-constant participant either at the opening whistle or well before the final one.
With a world class left boot and a soccer IQ that Head Coach Jim Curtin raves about, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see McGlynn reach the peak of the 22 Under 22 rankings before his eligibility runs out.