Dax McCarty Might Be the Biggest Beneficiary of Bastian Schweinsteiger Addition

dax mccarty

The Chicago Fire rebuilding plan, on at least one dimension, resembles the method employed by the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. While the Cubs front office team of Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein loaded up on shortstops, or players who came up as natural shortstops, the Fire stocked up on midfielders.

With Juninho, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty, Fire General Manager Nelson Rodriguez had a huge off-season, and now finds his club overloaded with talent at the midfielder position.

bastian schweinsteiger

Schweinsteiger gets all the attention, and rightfully so given what a global superstar he is (998th most followed person on Twitter in the entire world, second only to Dwyane Wade among Chicago athletes), but McCarty is as important to this Fire team’s success as individual.

Last week Schweinsteiger made international headlines for pointing out just how much of a drop off in quality MLS is from Europe’s top tiers (Not huge news to anyone here, or anywhere really, who knows the game as it’s kind of like saying “the Alabama Crimson Tide are not as top quality as the New England Patriots).

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The Fire defeated MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC 4-1 in front of a sellout crowd and a national television audience on Saturday at Toyota Park, and during the broadcast ESPN2 mentioned Schweinsteiger’s critical comments, which focused on all the mistakes and missed opportunities that you see in MLS. The telecast also mentioned how McCarty internalized the comments in order hold himself to a higher standard.

Dax McCarty never wants to be the guy who doesn’t finish the play or commits an egregious, costly mistake.

Fire Coach Veljko Paunovic said the team can’t get frustrated or angry from Schweinsteiger’s critiques, and they must find a way to use them as a positive.

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“I thought everyone on the field for the most part in the second half won their individual battles,” McCarty said after the victory.

“When you have guys step on the field that aren’t scared and win their individual battles, you’re going to have a good day.”

“These are big games for the club: national television, sellout crowd, bright lights, night game. These are games that players should dream about, these are games that you should thrive in, you should really want to play in these big games.”

The Fire (4-3-3, 15 points) look to extend their home unbeaten streak when they host Tim Howard and the Colorado Rapids (2-6-1, 7 points) for Pride Night at Toyota Park tonight.

chicago fire

The Men in Red are 4-0-1 at home to start the season and are currently unbeaten in 20 of 21 home matches across all competitions. Dax McCarty knows this club still has plenty of room for improvement though.

“We still have a long way to go, no question about it. Like I said, we’re still learning on the fly how to win; that’s something that only comes with going through tough games like tonight.”

It’s a franchise that hasn’t won a trophy since 2006, and only has one playoff win since 2009, so it’s been a bit of a lost decade in Bridgeview.

(Also, as you can see below, Dax McCarty also looks a lot like “blinking guy meme!”)

dax mccarty

Dax really didn’t want to leave the New York Red Bulls, and he was absolutely devastated when he learned that he was being dealt away. McCarty has voiced his displeasure with how the trade was handled too.

However, he may have a found a productive tutor-student relationship with Schweinsteiger in Chicago.

Basti’s arrival caused quite the stir here in the windy city, and McCarty could be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

“He’s great to have him in your back, behind you so he covers a lot and he also understands the game very well,” the captain of the 2014 German World Cup winning team said after an Early April 1-0 win over arch-rivals Columbus Crew.

“He knows exactly where to pass the ball, when to turn and when to keep the ball, so you can really see that he’s experienced.”

Dax McCarty put in another man-of-the-match performance that Saturday.

“I think in every game he is feeling more comfortable and getting in that role that we wanted and expected from him,” said Veljko Paunovic.

“He’s a leader on and off the field.”

“He’s getting to that level that we always said we saw him playing at [with the New York] Red Bulls and the level that is required to play on the national team. Hopefully, all together, we can manage to fulfill all our goals and objectives and also for him to play for the national team in the future.”

veljko paunovic

Indeed if Dax McCarty continues to develop he might become a contributor on Bruce Arena’s USMNT, in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

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