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Great Valley Soccer Star Goes Pro

Malvern native Jimmy McLaughlin has signed with the Philadelphia Union.

The Philadelphia Union professional soccer club has signed a Malvern native and star to its ranks. Jimmy McLaughlin, 18, played a year at college before going pro, according to the Union website:

On Monday, the Philadelphia Union announced the signing of McLaughlin, who just wrapped up his first season at Colgate and had been a prized piece in Philly’s academy system.

McLaughlin – who starred at nearby Great Valley High School and with nearly club powerhouse FC Delco – will be the franchise’s second Home Grown signing, following in the footsteps of his good friend Zach Pfeffer.

Union fans got a glimpse of what the 18-year-old can do in international friendlies against Everton and Real Madrid over the summer. Unfazed by the world-renowned players on the other side of the pitch, McLaughlin showed his blazing speed and attacking fearlessness on the wing after coming in as a late substitution.

The Times Herald sheds some light on the scope of McLaughlin's contract:

McLaughlin won’t be making the league minimum, which is in the ballpark of $42,000, but he won’t be breaking the bank, either. That bodes well for Union manager Peter Nowak, who said last week that he hopes to continue tinkering with his lineup. [...]

Home to one of Major League Soccer’s greenest rotations, the Union got younger with the addition of McLaughlin, Great Valley’s all-time leading scorer.

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