McCarthy Makes Third Alum to Sign with Union

2012 GK becomes the latest Noreaster to reach MLS

After two standout seasons in Ocean City, NJ, John McCarthy, 2014 USL Pro Goalkeeper of the Year, has signed first MLS contract

By: Dan O'Connell
February 25th, 2015
McCarthy joined the Nor'easters in 2011

Ocean City, NJ - Former Nor’easter and La Salle University product, John McCarthy signed on the dotted line, becoming a member of the Philadelphia Union on Monday morning, and spoke with The Nor’easters on Tuesday about how his “work ethic and love for the game” was evident throughout his path to the pros.

The keeper stymied the opposition during the 2011 and 2012 summers in an Ocean City uniform, racking up 104 saves in 23 games played for The Storm, tallying more than 1,900 minutes in net. 2012 was a banner year for the keeper who made 67 saves on the way to posting 5 shutouts and a .725 goals-against-average, the second best GAA in franchise history.  McCarthy’s performance throughout the 2012 season drew national attention as the goalie was named to the USL PDL Eastern Conference All-Conference team, the 11th Nor’easter and 3rd goalkeeper in franchise history to be named All-Conference. John also earned a nomination for PDL Goalkeeper of the Year, beating out starting goalies from the PDL’s more than 75 squads to receive the nomination.

John shared his gratitude for the Nor’easters organization citing current Head Coach Tim Oswald as well as current and former General Managers Kevin Nuss and Neil Holloway as organizational leaders who created “game-like situations” in practice while promoting the ability to “train at a high level.”  According to McCarthy, “Ocean City has some of the best college players in the country. Being able to train at a high level with great coaches helped my game immensely during the college offseason.”

McCarthy was named USL Rookie of the Year
with the Rochester Rhinos

As a LaSalle University Explorer, McCarthy holds school records for goalkeepers in saves (468), shutouts (28), and games-played (75). He made the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in 2010 before earning back-to-back Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team nods in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, as a senior, McCarthy was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and was ranked by as one of the nation’s top 10 collegiate goalkeepers.

Despite proving himself at both the collegiate and PDL level, McCarthy missed out on being invited to the 2014 MLS Combine and subsequently went undrafted in the league’s SuperDraft. His professional career kicked off not too long after by signing his first contract with the Rochester Rhinos of the USL (formerly USL Pro) and immediately stepped in as the Rhinos starting goalie. The 2014 season saw the rookie lead the entire USL in Goals Against Average (.722) and shutouts (10) on his way to earning a spot on the All-League First Team and the USL Goalkeeper of the Year prize. John relished his experience with “taking the jump from college to pro. Just being able to play was awesome experience alone as a rookie, and an even better learning experience.”

McCarthy in preseason action with the Philadelphia Union

McCarthy is no stranger to MLS training camps, as he trained with the Seattle Sounders in early 2014 before signing with the Rhinos, an “unreal experience that helped me grow as a player.” But when it came to his second crack at an MLS camp, McCarthy was mentally and physically ready. “The MLS is a big jump in pace, size and skill. There are no easy days of training and everyone has a winning attitude. It was tough at first but after a few training sessions I was able to get used to such a high level with all the Philly guys.”

John earned his trial with the Union as a result of talks between his agent Dave Williamson and Union Assistant Technical Director Chris Albright, and seized his opportunity. “I was ecstatic about the opportunity with Philly. I tried to learn and to be better than I was the day before.” McCarthy’s hard work and determination certainly paid off, as the newest member of the Philadelphia Union and former Ocean City Nor’easter is just starting his climb to the pinnacle of American professional soccer. 

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