By Mike Cugno

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Before John McCarthy was making big saves for Inter Miami CF he was bouncing around the United Soccer League (USL), the second tier league of American soccer.

He played for smaller clubs like Ocean City Nor’easters, Reading United, and the Rochester Rhinos before finally landing in Major League Soccer with his hometown Philadelphia union. But wasn’t seeing the playing time he is now.

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“I thought I deserved to be a starter somewhere or get the opportunity to be a starter. Now I’m in Miami with nice weather, amazing facilities. It’s something I worked for and it’s a journey. There’s definitely no straight path. There’s a lot of ups and downs,” he said.

One of those downs was leaving the Philadelphia Union organization and going back to the USL and the Tampa Bay Rowdies to prove he belonged in the net for a major league club.

“What would you say was the hardest moment along that path?” asked CBS4’s Mike Cugno.

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“Leaving Philly was tough for me. It was tough to move away from home, move away from family, move away from friends. I had my dog and I had my wife with me. We were all on board and said go try it, go do it. If it doesn’t work out maybe Philly will take me back in a year or two years. That was a tough moment for me to try and bet on myself,” said McCarthy.

That bet paid off when Inter Miami signed him in 2020. What made it even better was the gamble paid for his family too with his little brother getting the chance to practice with the first team every once in a while.

“He’s still training with the second team. They throw guys in and out with the first team and stuff like that,” he said. “For him to be able to step on the field with me, it’s a cool opportunity. I get to play professionally but now I get to play professionally with my brother. It’s an awesome thing.”

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Inter Miami CF will take on the Montréal Impact in Eastern Conference action on Wednesday night, May 12, aiming to extend its unbeaten streak to four with home-field advantage.