Mark Dougherty played goalkeeper in the Western Soccer League, American Professional Soccer League, USISL, and was the first goalkeeper selected in the inaugural Major League Soccer draft. He played for the Tampa Mutiny and the Columbus Crew. Dougherty had 121 career appearances and 119 starts. As of his retirement in 2001 due to a knee injury, he led the league with 64 career victories, he was second in the league with 500 career saves, and had 16 career shutouts.
MLS EXPERIENCE: Selected in the Inaugural MLS draft by the Tampa Mutiny, seventh overall, Mark Dougherty led the Mutiny to the league’s best record (20-12) and was named to the 1996 All Star Team. In 1996 and 1997 Dougherty posted two six-game winning streaks and accumulated the most victories in MLS’s brief history. He was acquired by the Columbus Crew in the 1997 waiver draft, and was starting goalkeeper for their first season at Columbus Crew Stadium. Dougherty became the first goalkeeper in league history to record 50 wins. During the 1999 season, he led the Crew in minutes played, playing 90 minutes in all but one of 31 appearances, and still had the lowest GAA in the Eastern Conference, along with a career high of 18 wins. That year, he was named the Crew's Most Valuable Player, and BIC Defender of the Year, in addition to being awarded Huntington Bank "Man of the Year" for his community service.
OUTSIDE MLS: In 1989, fresh out of college, Dougherty signed with the expansion San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, in the Western Soccer League. Dougherty played with the team in three championships in a row between 1989 and 1991. The Western Soccer League joined with the American Soccer League to form the American Professional Soccer League in 1991. Dougherty was ranked first among American Professional Soccer League goalkeepers with a .81 GAA per game, as the Blackhawks won the title. Dougherty was named first team All Star, and championship MVP. He remained with the Blackhawks until 1994 when he joined the North Bay Breakers as a player/coach. In 1995, he joined the Hawaii Tsunami as a player/coach. The Tsunami played 18-2, leading the USISL in both goals scored and GAA and went 10-0 at home. The Tsunami also won the Northwest Division championship and a berth in the Sizzlin’ Nine championships. Dougherty left the Tsunami for the MLS. In 1991, Dougherty and the Blackhawks’ APSL Championship earned the opportunity to play in the 1992 CONCACAF Champions Cup. The Blackhawks cruised through the first three rounds of the tournament. They defeated opponents from Panama, Belize and Honduras by a staggering aggregate score of 22-2. Ultimately, Dougherty and the team were narrowly defeated by Club América in a historic home and away series characterized by questionable refereeing.
INTERNATIONAL: Dougherty was a member of the U.S. National Team for fourteen years. Mark’s first invitation to the National Team was in December of 1989. He was in the player pool, called to many camps, but he never received a cap. His last appearance was in 2002.
COLLEGE: Dougherty received a scholarship from Fresno State University, was a four-year letterman and team captain his junior and senior seasons, 1988 and 1989. After a red-shirt year, he began playing in 1986, leading the Bulldogs to win the Pacific Coast Athletic Association championship and to the Final Four. That year, they set a record for the most wins for Fresno State with 18 and Dougherty set the record for fewest goals allowed (10). While team captain, Dougherty led the team to win back to back Big West Conference Championships. In 1989, the team set records for fewest losses, (3) most penalty kicks made, (7) and longest unbeaten streak, with 17 wins and a 14-0-3 record. Dougherty was selected to the Second Team, All-Big West in 1987, and First Team 1988 and 1989. He ended his college career, in 1989, with 0.76 GAA. Dougherty still holds the Big West Conference record for career shutouts, with thirty-eight between 1986-1989. Dougherty continued to attend classes, after being signed to play professionally, finally graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Fresno State.
NOTES: Dougherty is married to Jane Muir, an attorney, and lives in Miami.