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Tommy McNamara keeps Irish end up for NYCFC

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Tommy McNamara and his pal Murphy Malone

Tommy McNamara and his pal Murphy Malone

Tommy McNamara and his pal Murphy Malone[/caption]

By Sean Devlin

Tommy McNamara might wear blue and white when he suits up for NYCFC soccer matches at Yankee Stadium, but he’s an inspiration for supporters of those wearing green as well.

The 24-year-old midfielder is a native of West Nyack, New York, and played his school game at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey.

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He excelled on the soccer field for both Brown University and Clemson University, and in addition to his footballing prowess, he was also named a First Team Academic All American in 2013.

Picked up by NYCFC in 2014, McNamara has had a great season thus far, scoring in consecutive games in the beginning of August and making a name for himself in the starting XI of the club.

With NYCFC, McNamara has managed to make a sizeable impact and hold his own among international fixtures of the game like Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo.

In 14 appearances with NYCFC, he scored on five occasions.

McNamara’s rise with his hometown team coincides with a surge in interest in American soccer following the respective World Cup runs of the United States men’s and women’s national teams.

McNamara is proud of his Irish roots, and he is well representing Irish and Irish Americans in the sport.

“He is a true class act both on and off the field and he is truly holding his own on the team with legends like Pirlo, Lampard and David Villa, said New York fan, Shane Malone.

“He is incredibly proud of his Irish heritage and I recently had the pleasure of meeting him with my son Murphy,” said Malone.

“Murphy has had some heart surgeries early on in his life and is a huge soccer fan and plays also. Tommy has befriended him and recently handed him a personalized shirt. This is a true case of someone looking out for their own.”

Despite the fact that NYCFC’s home is the stadium traditionally deemed the House that Ruth Built (or in the new stadium, Jeter), McNamara is doing his part to hold up soccer as a pillar of Yankee Stadium activity in the second decade of the 21st century.

New York’s immigrant community, the Irish included, have made NYCFC’s rise from an expansion team that much easier.

In a sport that has traditionally been an immigrant’s game in the United States, a native son like McNamara not only serves as an inspiration to Irish expats and Irish Americans alike, but can be a catalyst for overall increased interest in soccer.

At the young age of 24, Tommy McNamara is just beginning what will hopefully be a long and successful career.