CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Former University of Miami soccer standout Shannon McCarthy has officially signed a professional contract to continue her playing career overseas.
A five-year letter winner at Miami, McCarthy has joined FC Kibi International University Charme. Also commonly known as FC Charme, the team is located in Takahashi City, Japan, and competes in Nadeshiko II.
“God put the goal of playing professional soccer in my heart at a very young age and has blessed me with the gifts necessary to be able to achieve that, so I want to praise and thank Him for this opportunity,” McCarthy said. “It is surreal to have achieved a goal that I’ve had my entire life. I am so thankful for my coaching staff and the incredible support staff that I had surrounding me during my college years at the University of Miami.”
McCarthy, who arrived in Japan this week, played in 72 games as a Hurricane, registering 59 starts. Over her final three seasons, she started 53 of 54 matches. During the course of her last two years, McCarthy played 3,346 minutes and left the field for a total of 16 minutes, going the distance in all but one outing.
A native of Brighton, Mich., McCarthy posted career highs in nearly every major statistical category in 2016, helping Miami to a 10-8-1 (5-5-0 ACC) record and one of its best seasons in program history. The defender finished second on the team with five assists and ranked sixth with seven points.
“I am especially thankful for a coaching staff that worked after hours with me and never stopped believing in me. I am also incredibly thankful for a team of girls who constantly pushed me to become better with every game and every training session,” McCarthy said. “My family played a huge role in just loving me through every moment of life and I can’t begin to say thank you enough times. My Athletes in Action community also provided me with love and support to be able to achieve this goal.”
McCarthy helped Miami reach the NCAA Championship in 2012, her first season on campus. She was limited to three matches as a sophomore due to injury, before bouncing back to be a team captain in each of her final three campaigns. McCarthy was one of two Hurricanes to start every match in both 2015 and 2016.
Established in 2000, FC Charme has played at each level of Japanese soccer and signed its first foreign player in 2015. The Japanese leagues have featured numerous standouts from other countries, including Caitlin Foord, Teresa Noyola and Michelle Pao, all of whom have played for their respective national teams.
“I have spent many hours by myself with the ball on a field, on a track running fitness tests or in the weight room lifting more than I thought possible,” McCarthy said, “and those hours have culminated with this point. I am ready for this.”