As part of an exciting new series, we’re taking a walk down memory lane with some of FirstPoint USA’s most illustrious and successful alumni from our long and storied 20+ years in providing opportunities to young sportsmen and women from across the globe.
First up is the current Assistant General Manager for Major League Soccer franchise, Nashville SC – Ally MacKay.
Born and raised on the Isle of Lewis, a remote island off the West Coast of Scotland, Ally joined FirstPoint USA as a promising young soccer player having come through the youth academy systems at Ross County and Partick Thistle before committing to the University of Evansville in Indiana on a scholarship.
Speaking on how the opportunity to play in the USA on a scholarship first appeared, Ally said:
“It actually came about after talking to a good friend of my brother. He had already been out to the States on a scholarship at Oregon, and at that point, it really wasn’t something I had considered, or even known about back then.
Football translates all over the world, whether it’s the UK, or the USA, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a global game and I was open to exploring all options for myself and my playing career. The more I understood the landscape of college soccer, the more it appealed to me. It was important for me to find a format that would allow me to train more frequently and provide that platform for the future”.
Following a hugely successful freshman season, leading the Aces to the best defensive record in the 10 years prior to his arrival, Ally established himself as one of the most valuable and versatile players in the conference, before injuries hampered his ability to continue playing.
Continuing his education and graduating with a Sports Business Management degree, Ally was able to return to the world of sports, kicking off his career as a football agent with leading athlete management company, Stellar Group – working with some of the biggest names in football like five-time Champions League winner Gareth Bale and England International Jack Grealish and relocating his life to Florida.
When asked about preparing for life after college and what that post-education process looked like for him, Ally said:
“When I graduated, I had to spend some time just trying to figure out what the world is going to look like. Obviously, when you’re a student-athlete, you’re surrounded by amazing facilities, and a huge team of professionals and experts to support and guide you through everyday life, so I needed to figure out what my next step was, but I always knew I wanted to stay in football and thankfully one of the most valuable things I acquired at university, other than my degree, was a network of great connections and relationships”.
Following on from his successful 10-year tenure within player agency and management, Ally was appointed Assistant General Manager of Nashville SC, which secured MLS expansion status in December 2017 and kicked off its inaugural season in 2020.
Joining the Technical staff in 2018, Ally played a key role in assembling Nashville’s first MLS roster, leaning on his experience within the US soccer market as well as being able to leverage the relationships he built throughout his decade-long career as a player agent – and has continued to provide expert leadership and guidance for Nashville, who’ve secured a playoff berth in all three of their MLS seasons so far.
You watch our full interview between FirstPoint USA’s Diane Knox and Ally MacKay at Nashville SC’s training ground in Tennessee.
FirstPoint USA has a dedicated team of specialist talent management consultants who have assisted thousands of young athletes to propel their athletic and academic careers through successful partnerships with top U.S. institutions. In addition to this, we also have robust processes and support tools in place to help you understand the intricacies of your scholarship options, so we’re with you every step of the way.
For more information on the life-changing opportunities for young men and women that an athletic scholarship in the USA can provide, why not get in touch with one of our specialist sports consultants today: Sports Scholarships | FirstPoint USA | FirstPoint USA
FirstPoint USA is an international scouting service, providing recruitment services to hundreds of NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA member institutions seeking to identify the very best in overseas talent, both male and female.
The company was founded in 2001 by former University of Cincinnati All-American and Hall of Fame inductee, Andrew Kean, and evaluates over 100,000 prospective student-athletes, competing in over 20 different sports, across 187 countries each year.