Jack Crack: Watch 18-Year-Old McGlynn Smack 20-Yard Rocket For USMNT U-20s

U.S. tied Canada 2-2 thanks to two superb goals.

Normally at this time, we’d be inundated with soccer 24/7. The men’s World Cup has been held in the summer every four years since 1930, with only two missed dates in the 1940s for World War II. This year, however, we’ve got to wait until November for the World Cup to begin. After a June men’s international window and ahead of a women’s international window, we’re at a bit of a dearth in soccer action around the world. 

Sure, Champions League qualifying has started for the teams that have little chance of making an impact in the competition, and, yes, the U.S. Open Cup continues this week. But for our football fix today we’re going to down to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for the 2022 Concacaf U-20 Championship, which serves as qualifying for the 2023 U-20 World Cup and 2024 Olympics.

On Monday night, the USMNT played Canada to a 2-2 draw in group play, a result that ensured the Americans advance to the knockout rounds. The two goals came from a pair of U.S. players who are already playing regularly in MLS. The first was a cracking hit from Jack McGlynn, the second a superb take from Cade Cowell.

Lowell Wright of York United opened the scoring for Canada, which also had an own goal on the night to bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Cuba in the opener. Each time the Canucks went ahead, the Yanks fought back to equalize. 

Jack McGlynn Goal vs Canada

Jack McGlynn is an 18-year-old New Yorker who’s made 33 appearances for the Philadelphia Union. A midfielder without a senior goal to his name, McGlynn showed he can strike a ball as well as anyone in the 53rd minute with this beauty.

After the own goal restored Canada’s lead, Cowell responded three minutes later.

The 18-year-old has appeared 70 times for San Jose with nine goals to his name. He made his USMNT debut in the friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina last December. The young winger cut in from the left before blasting a far-post strike to earn the draw for the U.S.

With the point, the U.S. moved into second place in Group E, two points behind Cuba, which plays the U.S. on Wednesday to determine the group winner. Canada will play Saint Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday knowing a draw will be enough to get into the knockout rounds. The U.S. beat Saint Kitts and Nevis 10-0 compared to Cuba’s 6-0 win.

The top three teams in each of the four groups advance to the 16-team knockout rounds. And if you’re saying, wait, that’s just 12 teams, congratulations on knowing basic math but not understanding the absurdity that is a Concacaf-organized tournament. The other four spots are filled in by the teams that won their groups in qualifying. The top 16 teams in the group stage did not have to qualify for the tournament. Because why not.

The top four finishers in the tournament qualify for the 2023 U-20 World Cup to be played in Indonesia next year. The top two finishers will qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

The U.S. has failed to qualify for the last three Olympic Games but will qualify automatically in 2028 as hosts.

As the title holder (the last Concacaf U-20 tourney was in 2018), the USMNT is a big favorite, though Mexico, with its record 13 wins at this level, can’t be counted out. The U.S. roster is made up entirely of players who are already fully of professionals, including European based players Mauricio Cuevas (Club Brugge), Alejandro Alvarado Jr. (Vizela) and Rokas Pukštas (Hajduk Split). Paxten Aaronson (brother of Brenden), Tyler Wolff (son of Josh), Caden Clark and Obed Vargas are also on a team loaded with talent. Aaronson scored twice in the win over Saint Kitts and Nevis, while Cowell, Clark, Wolff, Pukštas, Cuevas and Niko Tsakiris were all on the score sheet.

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