Signing News

Union sign goalkeeper John McCarthy

Photo: Glenn Riegel, courtesy of Reading United

With national team call-ups for Rais Mbolhi (Algeria) and Andre Blake (Jamaica) likely in 2015 — and the possibility that Blake could see time away from the team on loan — Zac MacMath’s season-long loan to Colorado Rapids saw the Philadelphia Union in need of a third goalkeeper.

The Union addressed that need today with the signing of John McCarthy, who has been with the team since the start of preseason as a trialist.

“John is a player we know well as we’ve watched his development closely coming out of Philly and last season in USL Pro,” Union technical director Chris Albright said in a press release. “He’ll continue to grow as he transitions into MLS and he gives us depth at an important position.”

The Philadelphia native (he grew up in Mayfair) comes to the Union after a rookie professional year with USL PRO side Rochester Rhinos. After finishing the season with a .72 goals against average over 18 appearances, the 22-year-old was named USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

“It’s a dream come true to sign with my hometown team,” McCarthy said. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity and am looking forward at having a chance to contribute to such a great organization”

McCarthy played his college soccer with La Salle University, where he established new school records for saves (468), shutouts (28), and games played (75).

While in college, McCarthy also played for area PDL sides Ocean City Nor’easters (2011, 2012) and Union affiliate Reading United (2013).

At the youth level, McCarthy played for Lighthouse Soccer Club, Philadelphia Soccer Club, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program, FC Delco and Match Fit Academy FC.



  1. Well done kid, PCL in the house!

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Very interesting to begin to read an article marked as 11:19 am at 11:13 am. I am taken back to ancient song by Chicago with the line “can anybody say what time it is?” Is Blake away on loan or is he hurt? Anybody got anything? Glad McCarthy’s deal is finally done. It’s been assumed since YSC camp when they let Brian Sylvestre go.

  3. this is phil says:

    I bet by season’s end Blake is our #1 and M’Bohli is elsewhere.

  4. Hell yes!!

  5. Anyone know the story with the helmet? Are there injuries in the past, or is he just ahead of the curve on player protection?

    • Probably just protecting the brain in his head. All keepers should wear them in my opinion. Watch a weekend of matches and count the number of knocks keepers take off corners alone.

    • Suffered a nasty concussion during his senior season at LaSalle. He’s been wearing the helmet ever since the injury.

    • watch….in the next few years they (PIAA) are going to mandate it in high school…..another reason to get out…and join an academy if your able. If you have had multiple concussions (3-4) or a skull injury, it should be mandatory…..but forcing all players to wear them is insane. It is a contact sport where we use our heads a lot……if your worried about injury……its best you don’t play at all. I’ve known a few players who have had to quit the game after 7 or 8 of them ( doctor ordered)…….and they still had a helmet on………..

      • i think that they should be mandatory if they help. if someone learns to play while wearing one they should get used to it and it shouldn’t be impediment

      • why not wrap everyone in bubble wrap too………….whats next, no walls on direct kicks because … know…..someone could get hit so hard their heart stops……….we should put chest pads on them! Honestly. for all the talk on here about development….and then have people want mandatory head gear for all players……makes this whole conversation laughable on many levels. You know, the higher you go up the pyramid in this sport…….the feet and head become equally important……

      • that is a pretty hyperbolic slipper slope you are putting out there

      • not really Kyle, here’s why. 15-20 years ago, the mandatory head gear conversation started popping up….and we all laughed it off like it would never happen in soccer….well look now: certain states and private schools are implementing it, its coming to pass…..and the game will be worse off for it. So its not as slippery a slope as you think. Second, what this really is……is certain head gear companies pushing their product and see a huge cash cow in US soccer and its crazy, sue happy parents! The DA killed scholastic soccer…….mandatory head gear will be the final nail in the coffin!

      • teach kids how to head the ball and elevate properly……..and helmets are not necessary………

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    MFR!! Mayfair!! Good stuff. Congrats and good luck.

  7. Congratulations to him, seems like a perfect fit for him and the club.
    I have one question: when Blake & M’Bolhi are playing for their countries and McCarthy is the starter, who is his backup?

  8. We can also bring in a keeper from Harrisburg in a pinch.

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