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Madison acquire Garrett McLaughlin from North Carolina via transfer

By Staff, 06/25/24, 11:00AM EDT


Forward becomes first to be transferred from USL Championship to USL League One for a fee

Forward becomes first to be transferred from USL Championship to USL League One for a fee | Image Credit: North Carolina FC

MADISON, Wis. - Forward Madison FC today announced the signing of forward Garrett McLaughlin via transfer from USL Championship side North Carolina FC. Per club policy, terms of the transfer were not disclosed. McLaughlin - the second-highest goalscorer in USL League One history - becomes the first player to be transferred for a fee from a USL Championship club to a USL League One club.

The former USL League One All-League performer and 2023 USL League One champion had been with NCFC since 2022. McLaughlin appeared in 10 league fixtures for NCFC this season, making one start, with 173 minutes played. He recorded five shots, two on target, and created three chances. He also appeared in both Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches, contributing the assist on the winning goal in NCFC's Third Round triumph over Carolina Core FC.

"We are pleased to welcome Garrett to the FMFC family," said Madison Head Coach Matt Glaeser. "We think Garrett's profile fits our culture and way of playing and he has the tools to be successful for us on and off the field. He's a proven performer and winner in our league who is excited about coming to play in Madison."

A member of NCFC's leadership council, McLaughlin played a massive role in developing and maintaining the club culture over the past three seasons. He wore the captain's armband several times throughout 2023, including the 2023 USL League One Final.

McLaughlin played 2,077 minutes across 33 games – 23 starts – while scoring seven goals, dishing nine assists, and creating 42 chances to help lead the NCFC attack. McLaughlin was NCFC's leading scorer in his first season with the team in 2022, with his 14 goals good for first runner-up in the USL League One Golden Boot race en route to All-League honors.  

"Garrett has been tremendous for our club in so many ways starting the day he got here in 2022," said NCFC Head Coach and Sporting Director John Bradford. "He's led our team on the field and in the locker room through his professionalism, work ethic, and team-first attitude. He was vital to our championship team in 2023 and has had an amazing impact throughout his time here at North Carolina FC. The best thing for Garrett, at this moment, is to be in an environment where he can get extended minutes. We'll miss him here and be rooting for his success the rest of this season and beyond."

The Oklahoma City native is in his fifth professional season. Houston Dynamo FC originally drafted him with the eighth overall selection of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, and he would sign with their USL Championship affiliate, Rio Grande Valley FC, that season. He played for former USL League One side Toronto FC II in 2021 before signing with NCFC in 2022. He played collegiately at Southern Methodist University after a stellar high school career at Heritage Hall, leading the team to three state championships and earning a pair of Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year seasons.

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