On Monday, January 16, the Chicago Fire surprised fans and the league when they announced a trade with New York Red Bulls. The Fire will receive midfielder and captain Dax McCarty in exchange for $400,000 in General Allocation Money. This is a transfer that has left both sides of this rivalry in shock and awe as a veteran of the MLS finds a new home. According to Chicago Fire, they will pay $200,000 of the fee this season and the other half in 2018. McCarty’s contract will reportedly be guaranteed for the 2017 season with options for 2018 and 2019.
Paving the way to Bridgeview
Dax McCarty was drafted 6th overall by FC Dallas in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, where he would stay for five seasons. During that time, McCarty featured in 93 games for Dallas while recording five goals and 17 assists. He also scored one goal in five post-season games. In the 2010 expansion draft, McCarty was selected by the Portland Timbers but was immediately traded to D.C. United where he was named captain in the beginning of the 2011 season.
After 13 matches and failing to meet the needs of D.C. United, he was traded to the New York Red Bulls halfway into the 2011 season. In his five and a half seasons in New York, Dax would go on to play in 169 regular season matches while notching a respectable 14 goals and 27 assists. He would also feature in 17 post-season matches for New York. Dax McCarty most recently won the Supporters’ Shield in 2015 with the Red Bulls, the same season in which he was selected to the MLS All-Star roster and received MLS Best XI honors.
From the Big Apple to the Second City
Dax McCarty is a welcome addition to a team that has been in dire need of assistance.
Championship pedigree, veteran leadership, and a midfield general.
Three important items have been scratched off the checklist by General Manager Nelson Rodriguez and Head Coach Veljko Paunovic. The Men in Red finally have a proven midfield that should be able to pick out passes, spread the defense, and execute in the final third.
Fire fans all over social media were elated to view reports signaling the arrival of Dax to Toyota Park. Along with fellow addition, Juninho and Dax form an anchor that will help the defense and, in turn, assist the offense for 90 minutes.
After the arrival of McCarty, Fire fans were quick to question the roles of other players -- mainly that of young American midfielder Matt Polster. He may find playing time in the midfield, or transition to the right flank of the defense, or, perhaps, become expendable. In the world of soccer, nothing is certain. In saying that, Fire fans will agree that Polster’s skills should be utilized in a new role. The Chicago Fire still need depth in the backline, and Polster could make the transition to rightback with the help of the coaching staff and his teammates.
With the winter transfer window closing soon, the Chicago Fire community is still optimistic on landing one of the much-rumored Andres Guardado of Dutch side PSV Eindhoven or Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United. An exciting season is just around the corner in Bridgeview.