RBNY Captain Dax McCarty Sold To Chicago Fire

In a shocking January move, Red Bull New York have traded their captain, and longest tenured player, Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire for $400,000 in allocation money over the next two years. The move, first reported by Four Four Two and since announced by the club, provides the Fire, who’ve been mired at the bottom of the standings the last two seasons, with a proven veteran to guide their young club as they seek long-term success. For RBNY, the loss of McCarty marks an inflection point in their 22-year history, and leaves them with a gaping hole in the midfield.

For six seasons McCarty had played the role of general in Harrison, NJ. From his defensive-midfield position, the red haired Red Bull chased down loose balls with reckless abandon – oftentimes at the expense of his body – and made crucial first passes which led to numerous goals over the years. Despite being undersized – he’s listed at a generous 5’7″ – McCarty quickly cultivated a reputation as one of the grittiest players in MLS. His 169 regular season appearances and 163 starts are both club records. He netted 14 goals and 27 assists during his tenure.

“We thank Dax for his service to the club,” said Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch. “He will go down as one of the best players and captains in franchise history. At this point in time, we felt that this was the right move to put our team in the best position to succeed both now and for years to come.”

With McCarty headed to the Windy City, the Red Bulls are left with questions at what was thought to be their strongest position heading into the 2017 season. It’s clear that Marsch and sporting director Ali Curtis have seen enough from homegrown midfielder Sean Davis to slot him into McCarty’s role. In 21 matches last year, including 11 starts – many of which came during McCarty’s lengthy injury absence – Davis filled in remarkably well, helping guide the club to the best record in the Eastern Conference. As the Red Bulls seek their third consecutive Eastern Conference regular season championship, they will now turn to the 23-year-old to handle the pressures of the position full time.

In addition to Davis, Red Bull New York also have a plethora of choices to fill in as well. The most intriguing option to start alongside Felipe would be Alex Muyl. The homegrown rookie earned himself a starting role last year after Lloyd Sam was traded to Dax McCarty’s former team, D.C. United. However, despite playing 27 matches in an advanced midfield role, the 21-year-old only scored two goals, so a switch to defensive midfield has merit. Additionally, fellow homegrown midfielder Tyler Adams served that role in the New York Red Bulls II record-setting season in USL last year. Expect him to get more minutes with the top-flight club.

Photo Courtesy of USA Today