Forward Garrett McLaughlin has signed a contract with North Carolina FC for the 2022 season, the club announced today. The deal is pending league and federation approval.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the North Carolina FC organization,” McLaughlin said. “I’m excited to meet my teammates, community, and the supporters. I can’t wait to get started!”
McLaughlin joins North Carolina FC from Toronto FC II, who was a member of USL League One last season and has since joined MLS Next Pro. While with Toronto, the 24-year-old made 25 appearances, 16 of which were starts, and clocked 1,584 minutes of playing time. A dominant force on offense and a prolific goal-scorer, the Oklahoma City native collected eight goals and one assist during the 2021 season, concluding the season in a four-way tie for the 10th-most goals scored.
Prior to his time in League One, McLaughlin played for Rio Grande Valley FC of the USL Championship, recording 11 appearances and 715 minutes of playing time. He was also selected eighth overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft by Houston Dynamo FC, however, he did not sign a contract with the first team.
McLaughlin also played collegiately at Southern Methodist University, playing 76 games for the Mustangs while collecting 37 goals and 13 assists. During his senior year, the forward scored a team-high 16 goals, and set an SMU record for five goals scored in a single game. He also led the American Athletic Conference in game winning goals with seven.
“I am very excited to have Garrett joining us at North Carolina FC,” said Head Coach John Bradford. “We have been actively recruiting him throughout this offseason and feel he will be a great fit with the team we are building. Garrett has quality experience in our league and has shown his ability to be a consistent attacking threat and score goals. I’m confident he can further develop in our environment and can’t wait to get started with him.”