Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty was named the most underrated player in the MLS -- along with Darlington Nagbe of Portland -- in a recent piece for ESPN (Mar. 22).
McCarty, 28, has been with the Red Bulls since 2011, when he was acquired from the D.C. United.
Brendan Joseph, SNY.tv:
Dax McCarty being considered "the most underrated player in MLS" isn't really a big surprise. During his time with the Red Bulls, he's been the team's best and most consistent player. McCarty does the work of two players on defense, enabling his partner in the center of the field to constantly join the attack (currently Felipe). It's unselfish, vital work, but it's the kind that doesn't garner accolades and national team call ups.
Despite being named to his first MLS Best XI team last year (and improving his positioning and short passing under pressure), he has been performing at that level since making the move to defensive midfielder four years ago.
One would think that the United States national team and Jurgen Klinsmann could also use the former youth international, but he continues to only be called up sporadically. And when he does, he rarely plays. Media and pundits have called for McCarty to replace the 33-year old Kyle Beckerman, but it seems like he's never going to do enough to impress Klinsmann.
McCarty have to be satisfied with the respect of his peers and significant contract extension he signed during the off-season.