The Swope Park Rangers have signed 21-year-old Martinique international Thierry Catherine and 23-year-old forward Ethan Vanacore-Decker, the club announced today. Vanacore-Decker has been added to the team’s roster, while Catherine will be added to the roster pending league and federation approval of his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate.
Catherine, a left-footed midfielder, debuted with the Martinique Men’s National Team in March as a second-half substitute as Les Matinino earned a scoreless draw against Trinidad and Tobago in preparation for their inaugural match in Concacaf Nations League qualifying against the British Virgin Islands on September 11.
He joins the Rangers from Golden Lion FC after helping the Caribbean club claim back-to-back Trophee du Conseil General and Martinique Championnat National titles in both 2015 and 2016, as well as a Coupe de la Martinique championship in 2016 and a Ligue des Antilles trophy in 2017.
In January, Catherine was one of 23 players invited to attend the three-day 2018 MLS Caribbean Combine in Florida featuring emerging talents from 16 different Concacaf member associations. He now becomes the first player signed from the combine to a USL or MLS contract.
Vanacore-Decker, who represented the United States at the under-15, under-17 and under-20 youth national team levels, has played in the USL Premier Development League each of the last three summers, appearing in 26 games for South Florida Surf (2016-17) and North County United (2018) with six goals and four assists. A seventh generation professional soccer player in his family, Vanacore-Decker is related to National Soccer Hall of Fame members Davey Brown and Jimmy Douglas.
Vanacore-Decker started alongside Cyle Larin at the University of Connecticut and contributed seven goals and three assists in 30 games in his freshman (2013) and sophomore (2014) seasons. He transferred to the University of Louisville in 2015, scoring against the reigning national champions Virginia to highlight his 10 appearances as a junior. He concluded his college career at Rutgers University in 2017 with two goals and an assist in seven games during a senior season cut short due to injury.
A New York Red Bulls Academy product, Vanacore-Decker led the Red Bulls U-17/18’s to the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship with goals in each of the team’s final three games at the prestigious youth event. In addition, Vanacore-Decker featured for the New York Red Bulls in the MLS Reserve League and appeared for the first team in a preseason victory over the Columbus Crew SC in 2013.
Born: 8/2/97 (21 years old)
Hometown: Fort de France, Martinique
Birthplace: Fort de France, Martinique
Born: 10/6/94 (23 years old)
Hometown: Manahawkin, N.J.
Birthplace: Boca Raton, Fla.