Throughout John McCarthy’s young career, he has served as a backup goalkeeper behind Brian Sylvestre and currently Andre Blake. Even though McCarthy hasn’t had the most playing time, he has surely proven to the coaching staff that he has the quality to be a starting goalkeeper. The Union are very fortunate to have him as Andre Blake has missed a total of six games (could be 7) due to international duty in the Gold Cup with Jamaica as he recently went down with a hand injury. This has given John McCarty the opportunity to step in and take advantage of the team’s goalkeeping duties in a huge way. The hometown boy from Philadelphia has shown his talent by recording two Team of the Week appearances, and also winning Save of the Week twice in his recent starts. This has been a positive talking point among all Union fans as we now know that we have a solid backup keeper in case Blake cannot play in the near future. Keeping in mind that Blake might not be with the Philadelphia Union in the future, all Union fans can be assured that McCarthy will still be with the team continuing to make fantastic saves and possibly be the starting goalkeeper for the Boys in Blue.
Although Blake has been a terrific player for the Union this season as well as last year, the team has not truly missed his absence as the team has gone 2-3-1 without Andre in net. However, 2 of the 3 losses without Blake have only been a difference of 1 goal as McCarthy did all he could to give the Union a chance to win those games. People can debate all day long about whether Blake is leaving or not this year, but we cannot control that so all we have to do is trust in his fanastic playing style and trust that we have another phenomenal young stud as a backup in John McCarthy. It was a very unfortunate sight to see Andre go down to injury in the Gold Cup final, but Union fans are hoping that he can go up against Montreal in the next game at Talen Energy Stadium at 8 PM kickoff time. Blake is still one of the best keepers in the league right now and he will continue to prove his great playing style as the season goes on and rumors begin to start up again. However, even if he cannot play against the Impact on Saturday night, we will all be confidently assured in knowing that McCarthy will be in net continuing to make amazing saves throughout the 90 minutes.
Lastly, in Andre’s absence the Union have continued to waver in the standings as they could never get on a winning streak and stay on one. The Union will be hoping to build even more momentum against the Impact as they sit in eighth place in the standings and just three points away from a playoff spot with a game in hand on Columbus. No matter who is net for the next game, the Union goalkeepers will keep proceeding to play at a top class level and continue to keep out many shots from opponents. Union’s goalkeepers coach Oka Nikolov has to be satisfied with the wonderful play of his goalies this year as well as the rest of the technical staff with the Philadelphia Union. The potential that McCarthy has right now is just so promising that fans will want to see him continuously starting in goal even when Blake returns from injury. As the season goes along Union fans have to be excited about the next season as the goalkeeping rotation will be decided by then whether it is the star-studded Andre Blake as the starter or the up and coming superstar John McCarthy.
“Photo: USA Today Images/CSN Philly Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports