Tommy McCabe is our first feature in our Keeping Up With The Pros series that we caught up with. The series will ask current pros from our program a series of questions that they will respond to with a video.
McCabe was a field general from his defensive midfielder position for Notre Dame over his three seasons with the Irish. The midfielder finished his Irish career with 61 appearances over the course of three seasons at Notre Dame. The holding midfielder recorded four assists and helped the Irish reach the NCAA Championships in all three seasons.
The standout was drafted with the 29th overall selection in the second round by Cincinnati FC in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. McCabe made his MLS debut on June 29 at Minnesota and made six appearances with two starts for the expansion side.
Below is a transcript of the video from McCabe.
Q: Why did you choose Notre Dame?
McCabe: I think for me it was a combination of excellent athletics and academics. And then being an Irish Catholic it’s something you always hear about and it’s kind of this big illusion for a lot of Irish families, so it’s something I knew about before I came to campus and fell in love with when I got there.
Q: What is your favorite memory of the men’s soccer program?
McCabe: I think for me it’s got to be the NCAA Round of 16 game against Virginia where we won on a last-second goal in double overtime. That was pretty special and it was a great moment for my last game at Alumni Stadium.
— ND Men’s Soccer (@NDMenSoccer) November 26, 2018
Q: What was your favorite spot on Notre Dame’s campus?
A: For me, I liked obviously the Golden Dome and living in Sorin College right next to that I think that whole God Quad area on a nice day was pretty special and something that you can’t get tired of.
Q: Share us a funny story about you and your teammates.
McCabe: I don’t know if I want to give away any stories, but definitely a lot of fun with the guys on the team. I think we made the most of our bus rides and our time in the locker room with some inside jokes, some debates at the back of the bus that I sometimes ventured into and then usually got pushed out of halfway through the conversation. But yeah, it was a ton of fun with the guys on the team and something that I’ll really remember and cherish.
McCabe: How did Notre Dame prepare you for your career?
A: I think for me, something that’s special about Notre Dame is the ability for our team to be a collective group and play for something that’s bigger than ourselves. So, I think learning that quality from my time at Notre Dame has really helped me since I left. And then I think the consistency of playing good games in the ACC or our out-of-conference schedule really prepared you for the consistent effort that you have to put forward as a professional.
Q: What have you been doing to keep busy during self-distancing?
A: I’ve watched a lot of Netflix, finished a couple shows or seasons of shows. Then, I’ve been doing some crossword puzzles. That’s my morning routine, a couple cups of coffee and then a crossword. I’m only on the USA Today level, haven’t made it to the New York Times level yet, but hopefully by the end of this quarantine I’ll possibly be at the New York Times level.
Q: What is a talent or skill that you want to develop during self-distancing?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s a talent or a skill because I did know how to read before this, but I have started to read more. For anyone who knew me in college, that wasn’t something I always necessarily did. So, I just finished Arsène Wenger’s book a couple days ago and now I’m on this book called ‘The Border.’ It’s a trilogy about the Mexican-American drug trade. I finished the first two and then got sidetracked and now I’m on the third one, so I recommend all four of those books. We’ve got plenty of time, so hopefully you guys can crush them and we can talk about them later.
Q: If you had to choose between peanut butter and jelly or pizza, which would it be?
A: If this were just peanut butter it would be a lot tougher because I’m a big peanut butter guy, but I think a New Jersey guy, you’ve got to go with a good slice of pizza. You can’t go wrong with that.
That’s all I’ve got, guys. Enjoy the time with your family, try not to get too bored, and stay tuned for more interviews.