AFC Ann Arbor are pleased to welcome Ian McGrane to the club ahead of the 2019 season. McGrane is coming off a strong senior season with the South Carolina Gamecocks and will join an already-impressive stable of goalkeepers along with the club. A native of Kingston, Pennsylvania, McGrane spent two years with Green Bay before transferring over to South Carolina where he eventually became the starting netminder for his senior season. Familiar with a high level of competition, McGrane has most recently been a member of SC United Bantams, now a USL League Two side located in Columbia, South Carolina, but also has previously spent time with FC Miami City, also a current USL League Two side.
As a senior, McGrane got the start in ten of his eleven appearances, ultimately ending up with a 6-5 record for a Gamecocks team that went 7-10. McGrane played all ninety minutes for two shutouts, both 1-0 in back-to-back games in C-USA conference play. He also played 45 minutes in two other shutouts with the side. He held a 1.07 GAA while making 35 saves on the season, including a seven save night against Georgetown. In total, McGrane played over 920 minutes on the season.
In his PDL (now USL League Two) career, McGrane was able to prove his worth with SC United over the past two seasons. In 2017 and 2018, he finished with a combined fourteen appearances with 1,100 minutes and a GAA of 1.06. He would also hold a save-percentage of 81.7% while making 58 saves. Looking ahead to the season to come, McGrane said, “One of the first things that Coach Rudland spoke to me about was the community of Ann Arbor and the support they give during the matches for the team.” He also added, “I’m excited to see the city and fans.”
There is certainly an excited buzz when it comes to bringing McGrane in. Eric Rudland said about his newest netminder, “Ian is a GK who has pro trajectory and we are excited to welcome him to the club.” The Mighty Oak consistently take pride in their goalies that are knocking on the professional level’s door, and McGrane is no different. In talking about what sets him apart from other keepers, Rudland discussed strengths of his, saying, “His physique makes him an imposing figure and he has the capacity to make big saves.” Standing at 6’5”, McGrane is most certainly, as Rudland describes, imposing when standing in front of the net. The hope will be that when in the match, his presence will help the defense play a bit freer with trust in yet another high-level keeper, as McGrane himself agrees with, saying, “I believe my presence in goal is something that stands out. It’s something that my teammates can feed off of and become motivated from.”
With plenty of high-level experience, McGrane comes into the 2019 season already having been fully embedded within a culture of hard work and determination. “Anyone who has played sports in college knows the demand needed to perform at a high level,” McGrane told AFCAA. “The trainings at University of South Carolina are tactically and physically asking of the players.” As is a common theme with those who have already spent time within the AFCAA organization, the complementary nature players have of the training sessions from coach Rudland should be able to similarly allow McGrane to achieve higher levels of play. This is something Rudland agrees with, as he says, “He has the mentality to compete for time in the goal and will bring quality to our group of already committed GK's.”
When asked about what he is personally looking forward to for the season to come, the South Carolina keeper responded by saying, “This will be a new experience playing with a new staff and teammates for me this season.” He added on to this statement, saying, “I look forward starting the season strong like I’ve seen this team do in the past and to the successes that will come in the NPSL and Open Cup.” As he also looks forward to the success that will hope to be worked towards this season, certainly the fans will be looking ahead for the same reasons.
About AFC Ann Arbor
Founded in 2014, Association Football Club Ann Arbor launched it’s men’s semi-pro team in 2015 and has competed in the NPSL since 2016. Led by Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland, the team has found great success winning back to back Great Lakes Championships (‘17 & ‘18) and earning US Open Cup bids three straight years (2017-2019). In October 2018, the club announced the launch of the women’s side, who will be skippered by Andy “Pritch” Pritchard in their inaugural season of the United Women’s Soccer national league. Owned and operated by a group of local soccer fans and entrepreneurs, AFC Ann Arbor has become a fixture in the greater Ann Arbor community.