Philadelphia Union Re-Sign McLaughlin, Pfeffer; Must Play Moving Foward


On Monday, the Philadelphia Union, and most of MLS, was busy making roster moves during the four-hour trade window and protection lists ahead of the MLS Expansion Draft. Philadelphia traded Amobi Okugo to Orlando City SC, declined roster options on a slew of players, and re-signed homegrown players Jimmy McLaughlin and Zach Pfeffer. Another homegrown player, Cristhian Hernandez, was among those released from the roster. With this in mind, Jim Curtin most play McLaughlin and Pfeffer more during the 2015 season or else they could decide to leave the team for greener pastures down the road.

Technical director Chris Albright announced McLaughlin and Pfeffer’s re-signing during a conference call on Monday

"“I would start by saying that Zach [Pfeffer] and Jimmy [McLaughlin] from the homegrown side are guys that we have come to terms of an agreement with going forward here, so that’s exciting from a homegrown side; we’re still committed to our youth development, and to having players from our academy help us be successful and to reach our goals of being consistently competitive in the East in MLS.”"

More from MLS

For awhile now, the Philadelphia Union have failed to capitalize from their homegrown players. This is not due to the player, but rather most of the time it was due to the plays nor being allowed to play significant minutes. Last season, McLaughlin played most of the season with USL PRO side Harrisburg City Islanders., while Pfeffer rode the bench for the Union most of the season. When he did make it into a game, it was for an insignificant amount of time towards the end of a game. Pfeffer has been called up to the United States U-20 team and has shown his worth and potential.

In 2015 Curtin most play both players and incorporate them both into his game plan. They both have stuck it out in Philadelphia and deserve a a fair shot a starting spot on the Union roster. In the past, they haven’t been given a fair shot and if it continues they both could leave Philadelphia after the 2015 season. Philadelphia has often been criticized for not utilizing their homegrown players and there is not excuse to not incorporate both into their plans.

If after giving a fair shot at a starting job and significant time and they don’t cut out, then Curtin is justified to not play them. However, they’ve under utilized both players and many wonder if the Union would lose their homegrown players due to lack of playing time and dissatisfaction with the coaching staff. Yet, it appears McLaughlin and Pfeffer are happy enough to stick around for another season in a Union jersey.

The Union roster will look partly different in 2015. One of the differences should be the inclusion of McLaughlin and Pfeffer into the starting XI, if not as a role player, for Curtin moving forward. The time to play both homegrown players is now or else they will look elsewhere as the Union squander their potential by sitting them on the bench.