When the Philadelphia Union Academy U19 opens its season on the road in Richmond next Saturday, highly regarded prospect and United States U17 defender Rayshaun McGann will not be with them.
Academy officials have confirmed that McGann is no longer with the organization.
The 17-year-old Royal Palm Beach, Florida native was named the top prospect in the organization as recently as March by Will Parchman for an article on MLSSoccer.com and was a regular up until recently with John Hackworth’s U.S. U17 team.
He is ranked No. 21 on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Boys IMG Academy 150 for the class of 2018, two spots behind Philadelphia Union homegrown Anthony Fontana.
McGann joined the Union Academy ahead of the 2015-16 season from Boca United and has been a steady presence on the back line both as a central defender and left back for the U14, U16 and U18 teams. He was named to the All-Conference Best XI in 2016 for his play with the U16 team.
He was spotted most recently playing as a guest player with California club Strikers FC in a tournament in Northern Ireland in July.
McGann is the second highly-rated prospect to leave the club over the summer after Jamaica youth international forward Chad Letts was granted a release to return home to Atlanta and join Atlanta United’s youth academy.
The Union have also added some promising players with U.S. U17 forward Tonny Temple rejoining the academy after spending two seasons with the now defunct U.S. U17 residency program in Florida. Though he isn’t currently listed on the roster, former Penn Fusion Academy and Salesianum School defender Brendan Hanrahan has also joined the U19 team.
Other defenders on the team include right back and recent Pitt commit Nykolas Sessock, 16-year-old center back/holding midfielder Michael Pellegrino, hulking center back Benjamin Ofeimu, left back Kevin Escobar and Michigan State commit Oluwaola-Ayo Ogunwale, who played right back with the U16s last season.