After signing their first professional contracts in the same week in early March, brothers Jack McGlynn and Conor McGlynn will finally get a chance to face off when the Philadelphia Union II visit the Hartford Athletic tonight in Connecticut.
Jack McGlynn signed a pro contract with the Union II on March 6 and six days later his older brother Conor McGlynn signed with Hartford Athletic. Then Covid-19 shut down soccer for four months.
“It was actually really crazy because he came through an open trial and made it, which is great for him and it was just a surreal moment for our whole family,” Jack McGlynn said in a recent interview.
Jack, who joined the Union Academy in August 2019, made his Union II debut on March 7 off the bench and Conor was getting ready to play the New York Red Bulls soon after signing his contract when the USL Championship season was suspended.
With soccer shutting down, the pro soccer playing brothers found themselves back home in Queens.
“We had really high expectations for each other at home to stay disciplined, stay training,” Conor said. “Over that period of time we learned a lot from each other and we really pushed each other to be the best people and players that we could.”
They also got plenty of help and support from their dad, Paul McGlynn, the academy director for BW Gottschee Academy, and were able to use their sibling rivalry as fuel.
“We compete with everything so we always talk trash to each other,” 17-year-old Jack said.
Conor made his professional debut in the starting lineup for Hartford on July 17 against the Red Bulls and also started in their second game of the season on Monday against Loudoun United. The Athletic won both games to draw level with the Riverhounds at the top of Group F in the USL Championship’s regional group play.
Jack made his first career start in his second appearance for Union II on Wednesday night against the New York Red Bulls.
“We’ve been talking about this moment since we were young kids,” Conor said. “To live out our dreams and play in the same league for that matter, it’s been a great experience so far for the both of us.”
Conor, who played four seasons of college soccer at Siena College and is five years older than Jack, didn’t take a heavily traveled path to the pros. Figuring he would look for a job in forensics out of college but not ready to hang up the boots, Conor went to an open tryout in December with over 150 players.
“It was intimidating to see and I was definitely nervous,” Conor said.
The technical staff liked what they saw and after impressing in preseason he was rewarded with a contract in March. What followed wasn’t something anyone had a manual for but Conor stayed focused and dialed in, waiting especially for the chance to play against his brother. Because of the age difference, they didn’t play against each other growing up in a formal setting.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Jack said. “It’s going to be a good moment for us.”
Jack will want a result for his team after they’ve been outscored 11-1 in their first two games back, but it will be a tough task against a squad coming off back-to-back wins. Dillon Stadium will be open to a limited number of fans and McGlynn family members for the match.
“I hope they root for the home team tomorrow,” Conor said.
How to Watch
What: Philadelphia Union II Hartford Athletic
Where: Dillon Stadium, Hartford, Conn.
When: Saturday, July 25, 7 p.m.