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Former FC Buffalo standout McGrath inks professional deal

Add another name to the list of FC Buffalo alumni who've gone on to sign professional contracts.

Midfielder Ian McGrath, a box-to-box stalwart for the Wolves in 2016, has agreed to a deal with new United Soccer League club Nashville SC, the team announced Friday morning.

McGrath, who wrapped up his college career with the University of Evansville last fall, finished second on FC Buffalo in points in his lone season with the club, collecting three goals and an assist.

Perhaps his most important goal with the Wolves was a powerful header that would prove to be the game's lone goal in a home win over FC Indiana.

McGrath stands tall as FC Buffalo earns three key points

His 12 goals and six assists as a college senior were both career highs; McGrath closed his career with 26 goals and 12 helpers - quite the feat for a player with defensive responsibilities.

The lanky 6'4 central player put himself in the discussion for selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, although his name was not called. 2018 will mark Nashville's first season in the pro ranks after developing a roster in the U-23s last season. Nashville SC takes on MLS squad Atlanta United at 3 p.m. Saturday for their inaugural preseason match.

Major League Soccer will welcome a Nashville franchise as an expansion club in either 2019 or 2020, but that is a separate entity from the USL organization.

A wealth of FC Buffalo players have gone on to join professional outdoor sides, including Russell Cicerone, Daniel Stevens, Mike Reidy, Krystian Witkowski, Kendell McFayden, Liam Callahan and Asani Samuels. Peter Marlette, Matt Stedman and Gary Boughton secured pro deals before their tenures with the Wolves.

An even bigger local soccer nerd fact: McGrath joins Ryan James, a former Rochester Rhinos midfielder and close friend of ex-FC Buffalo and University at Buffalo forward Marcus Hanson, on Nashville's roster.

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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