Next up: Cavan Sullivan joins elite list of Philadelphia Union homegrowns


Cavan Sullivan is the Philadelphia Union's latest homegrown player, joining an esteemed list of academy products at the perennial Eastern Conference contenders.

Historically speaking, who are the standouts Sullivan keeps company with?

Brenden Aaronson
Union Berlin • Midfielder
  • Philadelphia Union: 2019-20
  • Age: 23

Aaronson experienced a meteoric rise with Philadelphia, logging 7g/9a in 51 appearances and earning MLS Best XI honors in 2020. The high-motor attacker parlayed that into a transfer to Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, also becoming a US men's national team regular with 40 senior caps.

The Medford, New Jersey native is on loan at German Bundesliga side Union Berlin following Leeds United's relegation from the English Premier League in 2022-23.

Paxten Aaronson
Vitesse • Midfielder
  • Philadelphia Union: 2021-22
  • Age: 20

Some analysts rate Brenden's younger brother even higher, charting a similar path from academy star, to the Union first team, to a high-profile overseas transfer. Paxten made 37 MLS appearances for Philly, scoring four goals in just over 1,000 minutes before moving to German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.

Currently on loan at Eredivisie side Vitesse, Paxten's upside has surfaced in the Dutch top-flight with four goals in 12 league appearances. He's in strong contention to feature at this summer's Paris 2024 Olympics.

Nathan Harriel
Philadelphia Union • Defender
  • Philadelphia Union: 2021-present
  • Age: 23

The homegrown fullback has emerged as a regular starter for Philadelphia, making 64 first-team appearances since his 2021 MLS debut. Harriel has scored 2g/3a while contributing to a defense that's helped lay the foundation for the club to become an Eastern Conference power.

Jack McGlynn
Philadelphia Union • Midfielder
  • Philadelphia Union: 2021-present
  • Age: 20

McGlynn has been on a steady upward trajectory since his 2021 MLS breakthrough, fueled by cultured left-footed passing and set pieces.

With 5g/7a in 39 MLS starts, plus some added defensive bite, McGlynn will almost certainly join the list of Union homegrowns to head overseas. He's also a near-shoe-in for a USA roster spot at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Mark McKenzie
Genk • Defender
  • Philadelphia Union: 2018-20
  • Age: 25

After biding his time, McKenzie fully broke out with Philadelphia in 2020, establishing himself as one of the league's best defenders. The Best XI honoree tallied 2g/3a while starting 22 matches, helping the Union win the Supporters' Shield.

That preceded McKenzie's transfer to Belgian side Genk, where he's racked up 123 all-competition appearances with 5g/4a from his center-back spot. McKenzie also has 13 USMNT caps.

Quinn Sullivan
Philadelphia Union • Midfielder
  • Philadelphia Union: 2021-present
  • Age: 20

Cavan's older brother is a highly-regarded talent in his own right, taking a pronounced leap during his fourth MLS season. The midfielder has logged four assists in 10 games to start 2024 and recently scored his sixth career MLS goal.

Auston Trusty
Sheffield United • Defender
  • Philadelphia Union: 2016-19
  • Age: 25

Trusty became a mainstay for Philadelphia during the 2018-19 seasons. After an intra-MLS trade, Trusty spent three seasons with the Colorado Rapids before he was transferred to English Premier League giants Arsenal.

Trusty didn't make an EPL appearance for the Gunners, but his venture in England continued with his 2023 signing for Sheffield United, who are heading back to the Championship after being relegated.