Former Georgetown University defender Sean O’Hearn was drafted into Major League Soccer on Jan. 21, going 38th overall to the Minnesota United Football Club.
Over his three years on the Hilltop, O’Hearn was an incredibly consistent leader in the backline, starting 61 games. The Hoyas were extremely successful with him on the squad, going a blistering 47-10-8, winning three Big East championships and picking up a national title.
After years of hard work, O’Hearn is thrilled to be heading to Major League Soccer.
“It feels great,” O’Hearn wrote in a text to The Hoya. “It’s been a lifelong dream to get drafted in the MLS and become a professional soccer player, and for it to finally come to fruition after years of work and sacrifice is satisfying to say the least.”
O’Hearn came to Georgetown ready to play. He worked his way into the lineup as a first-year, starting the 2017 season opener against American University and never looking back.
Georgetown won the Big East Conference tournament that year, and O’Hearn played an instrumental role in a backline that shut out eight opponents on the season. He was rewarded for his efforts with a selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team.
Over the course of his first season, O’Hearn established himself as a tough, fundamentally sound defender with great touch and impressive pace. As a sophomore in 2018, he picked up 20 starts and again helped the Hoyas to eight shutouts and a Big East Conference championship.
Going into his junior season, O’Hearn had already started 37 games and won two conference championships, but he and his team were hungry for more.
In September 2019, O’Hearn and the rest of the Hoyas headed to California to take on the University of California Irvine and the University of California Los Angeles. UC Irvine was coming off of a dominant season and had been ranked No. 25 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll. UCLA had just pulled off an enormous upset over the top-ranked team in the country, the University of Maryland.
O’Hearn was unfazed. He led the Georgetown defense to two straight victories, 1-0 and 5-1, and assisted a remarkable three of the Hoyas’ six goals. The Big East — and professional scouts — took note; O’Hearn was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week.
The season took off from there. O’Hearn pitched in a fourth assist as the Hoyas fought their way to the Big East regular season title, the Big East tournament title and ultimately a national championship.
The College Cup final against the University of Virginia would be O’Hearn’s final appearance for the Hoyas.
“I didn’t think it was going to be my last game for Georgetown,” O’Hearn wrote. “It’s super bittersweet, but I’m so happy my last game at Georgetown was a win!”
O’Hearn graduated in three and a half years with a marketing degree this past fall and will head to Saint Paul, Minn., to compete for a roster spot on a Minnesota United FC team that advanced to the Western Conference final a season ago.
O’Hearn spoke highly of his new club.
“I’m so excited to head to Minnesota,” O’Hearn wrote. “Not only have they had success in the last year, but they also have a track record of trusting players who played college soccer. For some clubs there is a stigma against college soccer players, but going into an organization that is really going to give me a shot is awesome.”
The feeling is mutual: O’Hearn’s new head coach said he is very excited about his new defender.
“The coaches at Georgetown couldn’t speak any more highly of Sean,” Minnesota United FC Head Coach Adrian Heath said in a press release. “His coaches told me that he’s the toughest bastard they’ve had. He’s uncompromising, hard-nosed and always up for a battle. What more can you ask for in a defender? We were thrilled he was still available in the second round and we have no doubt he will remember the teams that passed on him in the draft.”
O’Hearn’s Georgetown career has come and gone, but he will look back fondly at his time on the Hilltop.
“I’m going to miss a lot of things from Georgetown,” O’Hearn wrote. “The locker room and the brotherhood I built with all my teammates, I’ll miss the campus and the city of D.C., and of course, I’ll miss Wisemiller’s Burger Madness.”
The Hoyas will miss their star fullback, but he will no doubt make his presence known at the next level.
Caden Koontz is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. Hoya Headlines appears online every other week.