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Union's John McCarthy Happy To Join His Hometown Team

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- The Philadelphia Union added a Philadelphia native to the roster this week, signing goalkeeper John McCarthy.

The 22-year-old McCarthy is a North Catholic High product who played his college soccer at La Salle University and he is thrilled to be suiting up for his hometown team.

"It's been really great," McCarthy tells KYW Newsradio. "I'm just really thankful for all the people that have supported me along the way in my career. From grade school to high school to college to the professional level, for all the love that my friends and family have shown me, has just been great. To be able to stay at home now and play in front of my family and friends hopefully, it's a dream come true. I really couldn't ask for much more."

Listen to John McCarthy with KYW's Matt Leon:


McCarthy put together an outstanding season in 2014 in the USL, earning Rookie of the Year honors for the Rochester Rhinos. He led the league with a 0.72 goals against average and posted 10 shutouts.

"I like to think my strength is communicating with my back line," McCarthy says. "I think that is a big strength of mine. Because you like to have a presence back there and make sure your back line knows you always have their back as much as they have your back."

McCarthy joins a goalkeeper group with the Union that includes Rais Mbolhi and Andre Blake. But Blake just underwent knee surgery and will be sidelined for a few weeks and both Mbolhi and Blake will have international commitments during the season. So not only is McCarthy home, but he's also found a situation where it would seem he's going to get a real chance to play.

"That's another reason why I was delighted to hear about interest from Philly," McCarthy says. "With two international guys, one, it would be a great learning experience. With Rais being a national team keeper and playing in the World Cup, being able to learn from him and how to strive to get to that level. Then Andre Blake, Jamaican international, being able to learn from him also and even having another year of experience under his belt and he has a few years of just playing under his belt. To know that they can go out and leave at any time, that really means that every day in and out of practice I have to better myself from the day before and always be ready to play because you never know when the opportunity will come around."

The Philadelphia Union are scheduled to open the regular season on March 7th on the road against Colorado.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.

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