The tale of local product Jack McBean took a new turn in the past week, as the on-loan LA Galaxy striker finally made his league debut for English side Coventry City, playing in the Sky Blues’ last two League One matches.
McBean, who re-signed with the MLS side during the 2016 season after racing to the USL lead in scoring through the first half of the year with LA Galaxy II, was loaned to Coventry City, playing in England’s third tier, in August, on a deal through the end of this year. McBean, still only 21 but a professional since 2011, made his first-team debut for Coventry City on November 6 in an FA Cup match, before playing in another cup competition for the club, the EFL Trophy, a few days later, getting the start and playing the full 90 in a 4-2 win over Wycombe Wanderers.
And then on November 22, McBean came off the bench in Coventry City’s 1-0 loss to Bolton to make his league debut, followed by another appearance off the bench four days later against MK Dons. Although McBean hasn’t scored yet for the first team in England, he is finally getting a run out with just over a month to go on his loan.
Add to the intrigue of McBean’s personal story, that of a talented player still developing his game and maturing, but finding a real foothold this year with LA Galaxy II, is the uncertain story of Coventry City. The club, which nearly went out of business a little under a decade ago before getting a new investor at the 11th hour, still faces considerable questions about its future. The investor that took over the club at that dire moment, hedge fund SISU, still owns them, and uncertainty over the permanent home of the club and the team now in the third tier, after previously being one of the founding members of the Premier League, means the calls for a new owner to take over the club have been mounting for some time. The manager was sacked midseason, and the managing director, American economist Chris Anderson, departed during the current season. To say there’s a lot going on at the club at the moment would be an understatement.
And yet, Coventry City has become a place to play for MLS players, before, during or after they play in the American top flight. In addition to McBean, future Atlanta United midfielder Chris McCann is currently on loan with the Sky Blues, and former Seattle Sounders midfielder Andy Rose also plays for the club this season.
With about a month to go in his loan, it’s difficult to say what’s to come for McBean. He’s getting some playing time, and while chances are he’ll return to the Galaxy for 2017, his stint in England could mean another move abroad in the future, or even a return to Coventry City. And if not, it will have given McBean a new opportunity and a chance to further develop his game, which could be a very good thing for the Galaxy or Galaxy II in the near future.