Carson, CA – Fresh off a “short term loan” that saw LA Galaxy II Captain Jack McBean join the senior team for the the LA Galaxy’s US Open Cup win against La Máquina, the LA Galaxy announced today that Jack McBean is once again a senior team player.
In a press release, the LA Galaxy announced Jack McBean as being signed to a Homegrown contract – a contract that allows MLS teams to sign players who’ve played for their youth academy teams. The Homegrown contract also allows a players salary to remain off of the salary cap (up to $150,000).
McBean was originally signed by the LA Galaxy, under this mechanism, in 2011 when Jack was just 16. And when he played a game for the LA Galaxy he became the youngest player in team history to accomplish that feat. He also holds the records as the youngest player in LA Galaxy history to start a game, and score a goal. In senior team play, McBean has scored two goals and two assists in 17 total appearances.
McBean has been a standout for the USL side LA Galaxy II the past two years. He was named ‘Most Valuable Player’ for LA Galaxy II in 2015 and this year, he’s scored 12 goals in league play and 9 goals in preseason. His 12 goals in 14 appearances currently leads USL.
“Jack has continued to develop on the field as a member of LA Galaxy II. He is still a young, talented player that we think will contribute to our team as he continues to grow. His signing is another testament to the benefit and success of LA Galaxy II.” Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy Head Coach & General Manager
Jack McBean plays in the style of an Alan Gordon. A physical presence up top as a striker who’s able to play with his back to goal. But also in McBean’s arsenal is the ability to turn the ball and distribute. Numerous times, in USL action, McBean was able to hold his position against a bigger defender and play the ball to one of his teammates. Jack may not be the tallest player, but he uses his size well and his physicality matches no one else on the team besides Nigel De Jong or Jelle Van Damme. He plays bigger than he looks.
But coupled with his ability to hold up and distribute, McBean also exhibits a solid striking/finishing touch. Although this is probably the area that could use the most improvement, Jack can finish chances and get to balls you don’t expect him to. Whether thats with his head or his foot, he’s skilled at both and isn’t shy at taking chances.
Finally, McBean plays defense. As a number nine you wouldn’t expect him to be able to run back and cover for his midfielders when they get caught up the field. But there have been multiple occasion where Jack could be found just above the backline stomping out an offensive effort by the opposition and leading LA Galaxy II back out of danger.
The main questions that remain to be answered is if his LA Galaxy II dominance can translate to MLS. We’ve seen flashes of McBean doing exactly that when he was with the LA Galaxy earlier in his career. During a stretch of games in 2013, a year that saw McBean play in 15 LA Galaxy games and score a goal, we saw his physical domination of then Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers.
Later in that game, McBean, while shielding the ball away from Borchers, had his collar bone snapped by the large defender. He had positioned his body perfectly to allow the ball to go through him to a wide open Mike Magee (April 27, 2013). Since that unfortunate break, McBean has only gotten stronger and now regularly bosses around USL playmakers. However, should McBean not be able to be as effective in holding up play and distributing in MLS, because of that increased physicality, that would limit his usage in a Galaxy lineup that is demanding it.
Name: Jack McBeanPronunciation: Jak Mic-BEANPosition: ForwardHeight: 6-0Weight: 175 lbs.Born: December 15, 1994Age: 21Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.Last Club: LA Galaxy IICitizenship: USA
Jack will also have to adjust to the quicker pace of Major League Soccer. Although you might argue that USL, with it’s constant sprinting and running, prepares most players for MLS. There’s still a difference in decision making. But again, this isn’t his first tryout in MLS.
Regardless of what might happen, the LA Galaxy have signed a young player who likes to score goals, hold the ball up, distribute for his teammates and gets back on defense when he’s needed. The fact that his salary won’t count against the LA Galaxy’s salary cap is just another bonus. And It’s the proper choice for a team that seems to be struggling to match the energy of Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes and the goal scoring of Robbie Keane.
I’d expect that Jack McBean will get some opportunities to play in this LA Galaxy squad in the very near future. With Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane still with their international teams, and injuries to Robbie Rogers, Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos limiting their action through a congested schedule, it only makes sense to bring in McBean to ease the burden on others.
The LA Galaxy are next in action tonight against Colorado Rapids and Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.