The Union made the first of what’s expected to be two signings in the coming days of players from the team’s academy on Monday, announcing that midfielder Jack McGlynn will move up to the big leagues next year.
A 17-year-old from the Queens, N.Y., neighborhood of Middle Village, McGlynn grew up in one of New York City’s most famous youth clubs, Blau Weiss Gottschee. He enrolled in the Union’s high school in Wayne last August, and turned pro in March by signing a contract with the Union’s USL team.
Because of McGlynn’s New York roots and Major League Soccer’s territorial rights on homegrown players, the Red Bulls or New York City FC could have claimed him as their own when the Union moved to do so. Orlando City did that with Nathan Harriel, whom the Union signed in July, and forced the Union to trade their 2021 first-round draft pick. (It wasn’t much, but it was still a roadblock.)
But McGlynn also has some Pennsylvania roots, having lived at a family residence in Scranton before joining the Union’s academy. That brought him inside the Union’s territorial radius. And in the end, the two New York teams didn’t try to claim him.
McGlynn has played five games for Union II so far. He had his first pro goal and assist in the most recent contest, a 3-2 win over New York Red Bulls II on Aug. 5. On July 26 he got to play against his brother Conor, a midfielder for Hartford Athletic.
In remarks issued by the Union, sporting director Ernst Tanner said Jack projects as “a role model for a box-to-box player.”
“His ability to play across the midfield and his capacity to process new information and put it into action on the pitch at a young age shows how high his ceiling can be,” Tanner said. “The next level for him is [to] just be with the first team in training, and see how he’s doing there. .... I expect him to do exactly the same as others did before him.”
Now attention turns to another midfielder, Paxten Aaronson, who like his older brother Brenden is a dynamic creator. MLS’s website reported last Friday that the Union have signed Paxten to his first pro contract. While one source with knowledge confirmed the report, the team has repeatedly declined to do so.
The key question isn’t whether Aaronson is coming, but when. The report on the league’s website didn’t specify whether his eligibility starts now or next year.