Chris Durkin, D.C. United’s youngest ever homegrown signing, was included on the roster for the 2018 MLS Homegrown Game, the league announced on Thursday afternoon. Durkin, among a group of 20 players to have come through the homegrown system throughout MLS, will play against the U20 side of Mexican team Tigres UNAL on July 31st, as part of the MLS All-Star game festivities, which take place in Atlanta this year.
Durkin, aged 18, was originally signed to a homegrown contract on June 14th, 2016, but spent much of his first season and a half away from D.C. United. Durkin was heavily involved in the U-17 team in the last cycle, and played a major part in the team that made it to the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup last fall in India.
The defensive midfielder came into preseason this year unlikely to get major minutes this season, with Russell Canouse and the newly acquired Junior Moreno in his way on the depth chart. However, an injury in preseason to Canouse gave Durkin more playing time in preseason. Then, after Moreno picked up an injury against the Houston Dynamo in March, Durkin started six of United’s next seven games. In all, he has appeared in 13 of D.C.’s 14 games this year, starting in 9 of them.
In a 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake in May, he picked up his first career assist, as he provided a pass to Nick DeLeon, whose cross was then headed in by Steve Birnbaum.
This is the 5th edition of the MLS Homegrown Game, and Durkin is now the second United homegrown to participate. In 2015 and 2016, Jalen Robinson participated.
This year’s game will take place on July 31st at 8 pm, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, and will be shown on UDN and Twitter.
Here’s the roster in it’s entirety:
Defenders: Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union), James Sands (New York City FC), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)
Midfielders: Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy), Chris Durkin (D.C. United), Anthony Fontana (Philadelphia Union), Liam Fraser (Toronto FC), Lagos Kunga (Atlanta United), Wan Kuzain (Sporting Kansas City), Cameron Lindley (Orlando City SC), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake)
Forwards: Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United), Ben Mines (New York Red Bulls)