Nashville, TN (WFIE) - University of Evansville men's soccer's top goal scorer the past two seasons, Ian McGrath, signed with Nashville SC of the United Soccer League, it was announced Friday in a release by the club.
McGrath along with two others were added to Nashville SC's roster ahead of the team's Saturday exhibition against MLS side Atlanta United of Major League Soccer at 2 p.m. (CST).
"Signing my first pro contract with a great club like Nashville SC means a great deal to me," said McGrath. "It is something that I have dreamed of ever since I started playing soccer as a little kid."
In his senior year, McGrath tallied six goals and 30 points for the Purple Aces, both team highs. Three times McGrath racked up four point nights, against Anderson, Milwaukee and Bradley. However, his most impressive statistic was game-winning goals, of which he tallied six, earning him the nickname "McClutch". In all, the New Lenox, Ill. native scored 26 goals, the ninth-most in program history, assisting on 11 more goals, and recording 11 game-winning goals in 71 appearances for the Purple Aces.
"Having played at UE for such a historic program has prepared me tremendously for this opportunity," said McGrath. "I learned a lot about hard work and dedication while playing for UE. The University, coaching staff, and my teammates have all helped me to become a better player and person."
Over the final two years of his collegiate career, McGrath helped lead the Aces to back-to-back MVC Tournament semifinals appearances and back-to-back double-digit win seasons, the first time either feat had been accomplished since the 1995 and 1996 seasons. In 2017, McGrath was named first-team all-MVC and United Soccer Coaches all-West region for his efforts, his fourth all-MVC honor and second all-region recognition. McGrath also shined in the classroom where the midfielder was named twice to the MVC scholar-athlete team and earned NSCAA Scholar All-American honors in 2016.
In late December, Nashville was awarded an MLS franchise, speculated to begin for the 2020 season. The announcement came as part of a planned three-team expansion for the league.