ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Thursday the club had signed 2014 USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year John McCarthy ahead of the upcoming season. The 26-year-old shot-stopper arrives in Tampa Bay after four seasons with the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer.
McCarthy burst onto the scene in his first professional season in 2014 as he claimed USL Championship Rookie of the Year honors with the Rochester Rhinos in addition to his Goalkeeper of the Year award. McCarthy led the league with a 0.72 goals-against average and 10 shutouts in 18 appearances for the club as it reached the USL Cup Playoffs.
A former USL League Two standout at both the Ocean City Nor’easters and Reading United AC, McCarthy signed with the Union the following season, where he made 21 MLS appearances serving as a primary backup to Jamaican international Andre Blake. McCarthy made an impact for Philadelphia in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, however, where his performances helped the side reach the final in the 2015 edition of the tournament.
McCarthy also featured regularly on loan with USL Championship side Bethlehem Steel FC, making 26 appearances for the club. This past season he recorded four shutouts and a 75.4 save percentage in 12 appearances for Bethlehem, including a pair of contests against the Rowdies.
“We’ve played against John on a number of occasions and he’s always proven tricky to beat,” said Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins. “The closer I looked at him, the more I realized just how underappreciated his talent is due to the no-nonsense nature of how he plays the goalkeeping position. John is someone that, when he comes here and plays every week, as opposed to bouncing between the MLS and USL teams in Philadelphia, people will start to know just how good of a player he is. From all our due diligence, it’s quite clear that he’s a good person, a good professional and a top goalkeeper.”