Philadelphia Union – Match Report vs. New England Revolution (16/07/2022)

The Philadelphia Union was able to come from behind to beat the New England Revolution in MLS play. Philadelphia played in a 4-2-3-1 which was a departure from their more typical 4-3-1-2. New England also played in a 4-2-3-1. Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances but two late goals from Philadelphia put them over the top. 


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Jack McGlynn 

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 19
  • Date of Birth: 07/07/2003
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: Blau Weiss Gottschee, Philadelphia Union (Y)
  • Position: Centre Midfielder 
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Jack McGlynn played as a deep-lying playmaker in this match and played extremely well. Despite having played less than 1000 MLS minutes, McGlynn was dictating the tempo of Philadelphia’s buildup. He wanted to be on the ball all the time, constantly dropping deep to receive the ball from the centre-backs or other teammates. He did a very good job of progressing the ball both in deep areas, and when finding teammates in the final 3rd. In particular, he was excellent at finding the seam between the fullback and the centre back, playing the ball to overlapping fullbacks and wingers. 

McGlynn was not just good at progressing the ball through passing. He was also quite comfortable carrying the ball, with a good first touch and the ability to dribble through the middle of the park and beat players 1v1. He demonstrated a bit of flair, attempting a scoop pass over the top of the defence that did not quite work out and an audacious backheel pass that did. 

McGlynn was also very eager to attempt long-range shots. When the space opened up for him at the top of the box he was more than willing to let fly, even with his weaker right foot. You don’t necessarily always want players to blast the ball with even the slightest sight of goal, but McGlynn was also quite good at playing the ball into the penalty area. Therefore his shooting ability only served to make him more dangerous going forward, not less so. 

Defensively McGlynn had mixed success. There were a couple of defensive interventions but he also got dribbled past a couple of times. His defending is not terrible but it certainly is not a strength at this point in his career. 

Rating: A2

This is a very strong A2. The only thing holding me back from an A1 is that McGlynn has played very little first-team football. But if the next 10 or so games look like this one then someone should be snatching him up. He looks confident and skilled. 

Paxten Aaronson 

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 18
  • Date of Birth: 26/08/2003
  • Current Club: Philadelphia Union
  • Career: Philadelphia Union (Y)
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Aaronson is probably one of the most hyped American players at the moment. He is the younger brother of recent Leeds United signing Brendon Aaronson and won both the golden boot and top player award at the CONCACAF U-20 championship. But despite that hype, I found his performance in this match to be quite underwhelming. 

Aaronson just seemed to struggle to keep up with the pace of the game. He wasn’t able to beat opposing defenders with speed or dribbling. In possession he often looked a bit unsure of himself, usually opting to just play things safe rather than risk trying something and looking silly. On one occasion when the ball was played to him inside the penalty area it took him ages to get the ball out of his feet, which in turn led to a much worse chance than Philadelphia could have potentially created from that situation.

He was not totally unskilled. He did demonstrate a good first touch and, when he was in space, he did look like he might drive the ball forward a bit. But often his seeming lack of confidence would lead to him just deferring to someone else. 

One major positive of Aaronson’s performance was his work rate. He was a very willing presser and put in the effort to track back to support his defensive teammates. This work rate will no doubt help him to achieve his potential in the future. Again though, he had a bit of a hard time doing anything other than harassing opponents. His struggles with the pace of the game made it a bit hard for him to get the ball off of opponents. He’s also quite small and not the quickest which didn’t help matters. 

Rating: B2

Aaronson is only 18 and has been a big star against his peers, so I don’t doubt that he will have better performances in MLS than this. But there have been plenty of players who were big stars in age group football and couldn’t translate that stardom to the top level of men’s football. So until Aaronson shows he can do it in MLS I will remain skeptical of the hype around him. As he grows in confidence and develops he could very well make my skepticism look foolish one day. But here in July 2022, I can’t predict stardom with any kind of confidence. He’s only 50 days younger than McGlynn who looked significantly more prepared for the level of MLS (albeit in a different position).

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