Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Jimmy McLaughlin

Photo: Earl Gardner

The Harrisburg City Islanders started off their season poorly. But, since the middle of May, the team has gone someway in turning things around, in large part due to the excellent play of men with Union ties. This week, Jimmy McLaughlin took center stage, scoring three goals and grabbing two assists across three games.

McLaughlin is the Union’s second Homegrown player, but has so far made only two substitute appearances for the club, in 2012, instead spending most of his time loaned out to the Union’s affiliate. While certainly a bright talent, it hasn’t been until recently that he has shown the consistency of performance required of MLS players. And this week, he may have hit a new high.

On Wednesday, the City Islanders took on the Baltimore Bohemians in the U.S. Open Cup. McLaughlin was the star performer, first beating his man with pace on the wing to serve up an assist to Morgan Langley to open the scoring, then scoring the next two, one a penalty kick. Harrisburg would run out 4–2 winners and advance to play the Union in the next round.

On Saturday, McLaughlin was again the provider for Langley, giving the assist for the 1–1 equalizer early in the second half of an eventual 3–2 loss to the Richmond Kickers.

And then on Sunday (yes, these guys play games on back-to-back days sometimes), McLaughlin was the hero, scoring the game-tying 85th-minute goal to earn a point against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The goal was an outside-the-box rip, and came after McLaughlin beat multiple defenders to get into shooting position.

It’s no demerit to say that McLaughlin’s goals and assists came against lower-level opposition. The old adage has never been truer: you can only beat what’s in front of you. What’s important is that McLaughlin is showing that perhaps he’s blossoming into a player that can move up. Dominating the lower leagues is exactly what you want an MLS loanee to do. It gives them confidence and game-time, and when McLaughlin gets called up—which, in all honesty, needs to be sooner rather than later—he’ll be ready.

That’s why he’s PSP’s Player of the Week.

Honorable mention: Morgan Langley. This former Union man is another big reason for the City Islanders’ turnaround. This week, he scored three goals of his own, two from McLaughlin assists. While Langley didn’t stick with the Union the first time around, he, too, seems like he might be ready for the next level.

3 Comments

  1. looks like Jimmy has mastered Blue Steel.

  2. I still remember his play against Everton when he got hip-checked off the ball, tuck-and-rolled, and came up still dribbling.

  3. Nice job Jimmy. Would love to know what life is like for these guys. Do they train as much as they should be? Are they in contact with the Union staff. I worry if we are not doing a great job of development for these guys. My guess is that Pfeffer probably had a very different experience in Hoffenheim last year that Jimmy is getting at Harrisburg.

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