Even though the New York Red Bulls lost to the Montreal Impact and were eliminated from the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, Dax McCarty reached another historic milestone with the club. The captain made his 198th all-time appearance, surpassing club legend Mike Petke.
McCarty previously set the club record for regular season matches started and all-time minutes played. There's one milestone left, the club's regular season appearance record, which he'll set the next time he steps on the field in a MLS match.
McCarty, a 29-year old midfielder, joined the Red Bulls in 2011in a controversial swap with D.C. United in exchange for Dwayne De Rosario. The move sent shockwaves through MLS, but ultimately ended up working for both sides. De Rosario won league MVP that season and had several strong performances against the Red Bulls, while McCarty has been a dominant long-term presence and one of the league's best defensive midfielders. He was named a MLS All-Star and Best XI selection in 2015, and has led his club to the Supporters' Shield in 2013 and 2015.
The "Ginger Ninja," as he is affectionately known, thanked the club's fans on his personal Twitter account following last weekend's ouster.
Thank you to all #RBNY fans for your amazing support all year. We have let you down when it matters most and for that, I am deeply sorry.- Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) November 8, 2016
McCarty should be back with the Red Bulls next year. Prior to the 2016 season, Goal USA reported that the club signed him to a new four-year contract. McCarty was set to be a free agent in 2017, and there was also trade speculation, with noted interest from Orlando City SC.