As reports broke on Saturday of the appointment, McCarthy had denied the news. Reached on his UK cellphone he told TimesLIVE: “Who’s pulling an April fool on me? No, sorry mate, no confirmation.”
McCarthy is Bafana’s all-time top scorer and the only South African to win the Uefa Champions League with Porto under Jose Mourinho in 2004.
Dutchman Ten Hag, who coached Ajax Amsterdam last season, begins his first campaign with United in the 2022-2023 season tasked with restoring the world's most-supported team to former glory.
McCarthy has been head coach and won trophies with two Premier Soccer League teams — Cape Town City and AmaZulu.
As a player he began his European career at Ajax, who he signed for from Cape Town club Seven Stars in 1996. McCarthy went on to star for Celta Vigo in Spain, Porto and Blackburn Rovers, where he was second-top scorer with 18 goals in the 2006-07 English Premier League to Chelsea's Didier Drogba (20).
After a brief stint at West Ham McCarthy returned to SA to win trophies at Orlando Pirates.