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LAFC’s John McCarthy named MLS Cup MVP

Not too often a backup goalkeeper gets the biggest honor.

MLS: MLS Cup Championship-Philadelphia Union vs Los Angeles FC Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

John McCarthy entered Saturday’s MLS Cup Final for LAFC against the Philadelphia Union in the 117th minute. And yet, he did so much that he walked away as the MLS Cup MVP.

McCarthy made two saves in the penalty shootout to propel LAFC to a 3-0 win in the penalty shootout against the Union, which came after 120-plus minutes of soccer that ended 3-3. While many players played a role in a game so epic, McCarthy’s two stops, coupled with a third shot from Philly that sailed over the goal entirely, could not keep up with the LAFC players who did convert their spot kicks.

McCarthy played in two league games this year for LAFC, one in the regular season and this stint at the end of MLS Cup, but he also played a game in the U.S. Open Cup, plus the Leagues Cup friendly against Club América, where...he took part in a penalty shootout, believe it or not.

McCarthy happens to be a Philadelphia native, who also spent four seasons with the Union, so his ties to that club run deep. This must be a little bittersweet for him, although I’m sure he loves being on the winning side. And don’t forget, he came into the game because Maxime Crepeau, LAFC’s regular No. 1 GK, appeared to suffer a horrific leg injury while also getting red carded in the process. He literally put his body on the line to win MLS Cup, and fortunately for him the remaining guys stepped up.

Congrats on the MLS MVP honors, John. You were put in the toughest position possible, and you were ready for the moment. Thank you for bringing LAFC a championship.

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