Promising LA Galaxy forward Jack McBean is training with Charlton Athletic for the next eight days, club reporter Adam Serrano has confirmed, as the teenager bids to gain some valuable overseas experience during the MLS offseason.
McBean, 19, also spent time with fellow Championship sides Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanders in November 2013, and is set to join up Scottish outfit Hibernian for another training period once his stint with Charlton ends.
The California-native, who also boats UK citizenship through his Scottish father, first burst onto the scene in MLS when he scored on his competitive debut in the 2011 regular-season finale against Houston at the age of just 16, leading to a huge amount of fanfare surrounding his future.
He has since struggled to make the breakthrough with Bruce Arena’s side, however, scoring just twice in 17 total league appearances, while also spending the 2014 campaign on loan with the new reserve team in third-division USL Pro.
With six goals and six assists in 29 games, much more was expected from the former US Under-18 international, and he admitted in October that he was disappointed with his record.
“It's hard when you're not scoring goals, which I wasn't for several months of the season there, and it's frustrating, and you have chances and you're just missing them, you know?” he told MLSsoccer.com.
“Working almost every day after training, finishing and doing stuff, and it wasn't really translating to the games. Then to score a couple goal in the game there was awesome.
“That's the way the game goes sometimes. You can have a bad game and score two goals or you can have a good game and miss a couple of chances. And you feel like you had a bad game because of it. It's hard, but you get through it.
“I'm just going to work hard, try to stay positive with the things going on around me, and control what I can control …,” he continued. “I'm just taking it day by day. I have no idea what could happen tomorrow. I love it here, and I'm happy here, but just try to take it day by day.”
Nevertheless, McBean remains a promising prospect who could still have a bright MLS future, although he is no longer being talked about as a potential contender for Jurgen Klinsmann’s 2018 World Cup squad.
Good in the air or with the ball on his feet, if he could pick up a few tips during his time in the UK then it could serve him well for his return to LA in the New Year, when he will face another battle to make the club’s MLS roster for the 2015 season.
Of course, if he impresses during his time with either Charlton or Hibs then it could lead to suggestions of a permanent switch but, given his recent struggles, such a scenario seems doubtful.