Dax McCarty criticizes Red Bulls front office, says Fire need to improve culture


There has been plenty of drama surrounding Dax McCarty's trade from the New York Red Bulls to the Chicago Fire.

On Tuesday, McCarty talked to local and national reporters via a conference call about his last couple weeks, which he described as a "whirlwind." McCarty got married, joined the U.S. national team for training camp and got traded to the Fire all within the span of a few days.

On top of that, McCarty has been vocal about his displeasure with how the Red Bulls handled the trade. He spoke for a half hour with reporters, giving bold responses on a number of different topics.

There's what McCarty said about how the Red Bulls handled the trade.

"I didn’t think they handled the situation in a very classy way."

There's McCarty's view on what he calls a losing culture that has plagued the Fire.

"From the outside looking in it looks like losing almost became accepted and a culture of losing with this club almost became the norm. From the front office, down to the players, down to the all the staff. It almost just seemed like they were indifferent about winning and that's crazy to me. That's insane."

There's McCarty offering an insight into the current drama within the Red Bulls regarding sporting director Ali Curtis' potential ousting.

"I don't think Ali Curtis had anything to do with the decision."

Saying that a team's sporting director didn't have anything to do with a decision to trade the team's captain is a huge bombshell to those in Red Bull land. McCarty said it was coach Jesse Marsch's decision and Marsch was the one who told him about the trade.

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As for McCarty's view of his new club's brass, Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and coach Veljko Paunovic flew out to speak with McCarty when he was in camp with the U.S. national team. Both sides have said the meeting went well and was productive, with Paunovic and Rodriguez saying they would be patient with McCarty amid all the emotional elements.

"It was a good meeting and I think for the most part they understood where I was coming from," McCarty said. "They respected the fact that I still needed a little bit of time to process everything and let it sink in, gather my emotions and my thoughts. I'm very happy that they gave me that time and they weren't bombarding me with all kinds of requests for me to do things and all that."

McCarty flew to Florida to join the Fire in preseason training on Monday night. Tuesday morning was his first training session with his new team.

The personal side of the trade has been the focus with both the timing and McCarty's reaction taking focus away from the business side. McCarty admitted he understood the trade from a business sense saying Sean Davis, who replaced him when he got injured against the Fire, "played fantastic" in his place last year.

Davis, 23, is younger and cheaper than the 29-year-old McCarty. With that in mind, McCarty said he "always knew it was a possibility" he could be traded, but still felt like he had earned the chance to have a say in a move.

"If you're moving a veteran player on a high salary for business reasons and you have players you think can step in and do the job that have lower salaries, that are younger that you need to get minutes to, I'm the first one to say it's a great move," McCarty said. "There's no player that's bigger than any club and that's something that I understand full well. I do think that if you're a club that preaches family and I do think if you're a club that preaches doing things the right way and trying to treat players the right way, then I don't think you go and trade a guy who you say that you relied on a lot and that is your captain behind his back without at least telling him that, 'Hey these are some possibilities, unfortunately we have to move you, do you have any say in the matter? You just got married, you have a wife. This is a big moment in your career.'

"I thought I at least earned that and I thought that it would have been hard for the Red Bulls to do that or say that to me because if something falls through they never know where my head will be, but I would have had a lot more respect for the way they handled the situation if that's how it would have gone down."

With his time with the Red Bulls now behind him, McCarty is focused on trying to turn the Fire around as much as he can, adding that in MLS all it takes is a couple moves to become a contender.

"I'm not the type of player that is going to be OK with being average and having another losing season and I guess that's part of the reason why they're bringing me in," McCarty said.