Monday, December 12, 2011

Union sign second homegrown player

Chester, Pa.  - The Philadelphia Union announced the signing of midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin to a professional contract as the club’s second Homegrown Player. The 18-year-old Union Academy graduate, who recently completed his first semester at Colgate University, has suited up for the first team and in several Reserve League matches.  Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

The 18-year-old made his unofficial professional debut with the Union as a second half substitute in a 1-1 draw  on May 31 against PDL affiliate Reading United A.C..  Later in the summer, the midfielder suited up with the senior squad once again, coming on in the 78th minute of a 1-0 victory over Barclays English Premier League club Everton on July 20, 2011 at PPL Park. Only three days later, McLaughlin stepped on the pitch in the 82nd minute to face Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid C.F. 

Following the "Path to PPL Park" created by the Union and YSC Sports, McLaughlin is the second Homegrown Player to come out of the Union Academy after Zach Pfeffer, who signed on December 22, 2010.  In addition to playing for the Union academy, McLaughlin played for Union Youth Development Affiliate FC DELCO, where he served as captain of the U-18 Academy Team, after plying his trade with the Greater Chester Valley Soccer Association and Lower Merion Soccer Club.

The Great Valley High School graduate made his debut with the Union Academy in 2010 at the U-17 SUM Cup, where he recorded an assist. Since then, McLaughlin has played in MLS Reserve League matches against New York Red Bulls, D.C. United and New England Revolution. 

The only freshman to start in all 22 games for Colgate’s Men's Soccer Team this year, McLaughlin’s first collegiate goal was a game-winning tally against Syracuse University during his debut on August 27, 2011, which helped him earn his first BRINE Patriot League Rookie of the Week award. The midfielder concluded his first collegiate soccer season with a goal and three assists, receiving the 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year award.

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