Jack McGlynn can help change the Philadelphia Union and more from MLS

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  • Let’s take a look at one standout player and one standout team from the latest Major League Soccer action
Nov 28, 2021; Chester, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Jack McGlynn (16) reacts after making a penalty kick against the Nashville SC in the conference semifinals of the 2021 MLS playoffs at Subaru Park. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

This is an excerpt from Monday’s Weekend Recap. Subscribe to our free newsletter to get future editions of the Weekend Recap delivered right to your inbox.

Another MLS weekend is in the books. Let’s take a look at one standout player and one standout team from the action on Saturday and Sunday.

Jack McGlynn shines

I don’t want to overstate anything here, but Jack McGylnn put on a borderline masterclass in central midfield against the Revs on Saturday. The 19-year-old central midfielder dropped dime after dime and helped create real chances for the Philadelphia Union in their 2-1 win over New England.

McGlynn, who helped the U.S. qualify for the Olympics at the Concacaf U-20 Championship, hasn’t played much this season. This was just his first start of 2022 for the Union. But especially after performances like the one he had over the weekend, don’t be surprised when McGlynn pops up in the starting lineup again soon.

There aren’t very many players in MLS who have McGlynn’s skillset. He’s not a modern, hyper-aggressive, pressing No. 8, although that’s exactly the kind of player you would expect to see playing in Curtin’s midfield. No, his entire game is built on technical ability, vision, left-footed passing, and off-ball movement. 

McGlynn has undeniable athletic limitations: he was slow to recover on Gustavo Bou’s goal in the second half on Saturday and you can bet that he’ll cede space in transition pretty regularly.

But McGlynn’s ability in possession is truly impressive, especially for a teenager. For a Philadelphia Union team that needs more on-ball quality and that needs someone who can reliably progress play into the final third, McGlynn made a strong case for more minutes with his game on Saturday.

FC Dallas keep dropping points

Hey, I never said “standout” was going to be used in a positive way.

Things were going well for FC Dallas in the first half against Austin FC on Saturday. Dallas took the lead through Paul Arriola in the first half and generally kept Austin’s attack at bay. That is, until Dallas lost their lead after a turnover in their own half created a chance for Diego Fagundez to score an equalizer in the 79th minute.

Losing leads late in games has been an unfortunate theme for FC Dallas this season, especially since the international break ended. After Saturday’s set of games, Dallas had dropped the second-most points from winning positions in the league. They have missed out on 15 points due to lost leads this season. 15! 

Every team is going to drop points – and every team is going to lose games in unfortunate ways. But FC Dallas has gone from “sure-fire playoff team” to “hm, they’re closer to the bubble than I thought they were” in the span of a few weeks. 

There was Saturday’s draw against Austin. One week earlier, there was that 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo that involved a crazy-late stoppage time equalizer from Teenage Hadebe. Before that, there was Leo Campana’s late equalizer for Inter Miami in Dallas on July 4. Then before that, there was a 2-2 draw against Austin where Dallas gave up two unanswered goals in the last 20 minutes.

It’s been a tough road for FC Dallas since that international break. Frankly, this team has to figure out ways to stop dropping points from winning positions. They’re not alone in their struggle: the New England Revolution, who collapsed against Jack McGlynn and the Union, are way down in last in terms of points dropped from winning positions.

But Dallas, who are currently above the playoff line, might not be for much longer if they can’t find a way to hold onto their leads.

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