SSFC Spotlight: Jack McGlynn makes an impact at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship

The United States Under 20 Men’s National Team needed just two games to reach the knockout stage of the 2022 CONCACAF Under 20 Championship. Several intriguing players emerged during the competition, with the next generation of American talent on display. The second game, a 2-2 draw with rivals Canada, featured a stunning goal from Jack McGlynn. The 18-year-old Philadelphia Union midfielder has made great strides in recent seasons, showing signs of being a potential star in the future.

McGlynn was born in the New York borough of Queens and played club football with BW Gottschee, where his father is an independent director. In 2019 he joined the vaunted Philadelphia Union Academy. The club quickly promoted him to the reserve team, but his pro-level start was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing him to return home to train with his brother, Conor of Hartford Athletic. In his first season, the midfielder contributed five goals and three assists in 14 appearances, earning the USL Team of the Week title twice.

Following his success, McGlynn was signed to the MLS team. “We are thrilled to welcome Jack to the first team,” said sporting director Ernst Tanner. “After signing with Union II, he continued to amaze the coaching staff with his development after making an initial impact with our USL team. His ability to play in midfield and his ability to process new information and put it into action on the pitch at a young age shows how high his roof can be. “

In 2021, McGlynn made a total of 25 appearances in all competitions, including the CONCACAF Champions League and all three games during the MLS Cup playoffs. After converting a penalty shoot-out against Nashville SC, he started in the final of the Eastern Conference, a 2-1 defeat to future champions New York City FC. As he adapted to the “speed of the game,” the teenager benefited from veteran leadership, while he “played confidently” in training and received individual instruction from manager Jim Curtin.

Despite looking poised for a minute increase, McGlynn split the time between first team and reserves in MLS Next Pro. inclusion thanks to his “creativity” and ability to “unlock a defense while sitting with his movement”. Amid speculation about a possible move to Europe, the midfielder has signed with Roc Nation Sports International, becoming the agency’s first MLS player.

“I don’t think there is pressure,” McGlynn told al Views from the bridge podcast, commenting on the recent history of the club’s successful transfers. “I think right now I’m just focusing on getting more minutes [in Philadelphia]becoming an appetizer, [and] show me. We will see what happens from there. Obviously Europe would be a great achievement for me, but that’s not something I’m focused on right now. I’m focused on here. “

Internationally, McGlynn, who may also be eligible for Ireland, began receiving call-ups for the US program at U-14 level and helped the U-16 team win the 2019 Nike friendlies. Manager Mikey Varas named him on the squad for the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. He appeared in all three group stage matches, including the 90-minute start and play against Canada. His superlative long-range goal helped secure a crucial point to advance to the round of 16.

Described as having “top-notch football IQ” and “incredibly high ceiling”, McGlynn is a box-to-box midfielder with a “smooth left foot” and a devastating touch from distance. As expected of a Union player, he is an improving pressor, facing and winning duels against opponents from the “left side of the diamond”. His passing and dribbling stats are well above the MLS average, always trying to play the ball forward, while “progressive passing” and “shot making actions” are in 96.th and 97th percentile, respectively. Marco Chairez of Chasing a cup notes that his physicality and “sixth sense of play” must be improved to overcome the “limits of mobility”.

McGlynn often pushes in the last third, trying to play bold dividing line through the balls to the forwards. He shows solid spacing in buildup and last third, making himself available as an outlet for teammates. Immediately after the Union loses possession, his response is to quickly hang up and attack the opponent or retreat, managing to make the necessary “big tackles” and “small defensive plays”. Vylela praises him as “competitor-focused” and an “accurate passer at all distances” with “a sweeping stride.” [that] it allows him to cover a lot of ground in transition ”without“ losing cheap possession ”.

“It is more or less on its feet for the ease of playing this game”, She said Sporting director Ernst Tanner. “His technical actions are always clear. His decision making is always the way we want to play. For such a young guy, he is making so few mistakes, which for me is almost abnormal. But his mentality, his abilities, his character, everything is so positive that it is only a matter of time and also a matter of patience on our part and beyond that on his part. “

Players are judged on skills that go far beyond the dazzling finale of the highlights reel that spreads across social media. While McGlynn provided a great individual moment for the United States, her excellent passing ability and professional mindset about him are perhaps even more impressive. With continued development, he should become a starter in Philadelphia before ideally moving on to a bigger club and international stage.

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