Pine-Richland graduate Tyler McCarthy recently got a taste of pro soccer before he heads to California University of Pennsylvania in the fall to play for the Vulcans.
McCarthy, who graduated in the spring, signed a contract in June with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and has been practicing with them ever since.
He also was the first player to sign a United Soccer Leagues standard agreement for academy players, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
By rule, McCarthy cannot be paid and his contract will be voided when he goes to college. That way, he won't be in violation of NCAA regulations.
McCarthy, who helped the Rams win two section titles, had playing time for the Riverhounds at right back in their match against English professional club Wigan Athletic F.C, on July 19.
"The speed of play was so fast," McCarthy told the PG. "You have to stay on top of everything. There's pressure even when you don't have the ball. But it was a really cool experience."
McCarthy told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he believes his experience with the professional league will give him an edge over other players when plays for the Vulcans in the fall.
“I think that aspect of it will actually be easier,” McCarthy
said. “These guys are all in their mid 20s, so playing against players my own
age will be easier, I think.”
McCarthy’s last day with the Riverhounds was Aug. 17.