June 23, 2012
LOOKING TO RETURN THE FAVOR
McCarty, Red Bulls teammates remember 4-1 away pasting at D.C. in April
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Dax McCarty: "And let’s be frank, the ass kicking they put on us was a turning point for the season. We got crushed by them at [their] home and then we went on that run of unbeaten games."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Calling it an “ass kicking,” Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty remembers all too well the 4-1 away loss to D.C. United on Apr. 22. It was New York’s worst loss of the season but has proven a catalyst for their recent run.
After the stinging loss at RFK Stadium, the Red Bulls went for the next six matches in league play without a loss, posting 16 points over that stretch.
With the chance to host United on Sunday (NBC Sports Network, 7 p.m.), McCarty is looking back to that match as he looks ahead to what is shaping up to be the premier Major League Socer match of the weekend.
“We don’t talk about it in the locker room openly but I know myself personally and the other guys, that result stuck with us,” he said.
“It wasn’t a good result for us, on national television and with the fans who travelled down. We took it on the chin and then we grew as a team, going on to be pretty good for the next month.”
Even if it wasn’t a battle of two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference, it is a rivalry match and McCarty remembers how big the game was when he was part of D.C. last year. Every year, it seems like the fixtures with D.C. are the first thing that supporters look for when the schedule comes out. It is something the players circle on the fixture list, too.
“It’s huge in probably every aspect and every angle you can look at it from. From the perspective of the fans, it is the biggest rivalry in the league as far as they’re concerned," McCarty said. "The biggest rivalry in the league as we’re concerned so, yeah, it is big – it is a battle for first in the East.
“It is a sell-out - it is going to be a fantastic atmosphere.”
Perhaps because he has seen both sides of the rivalry, McCarty agrees with the majority of fans that D.C. is the deepest rivalry this team has and not Philadelphia.
“I think this is deeper, especially from the fans perspective – the history of both teams," he said. "Let’s give them credit where it is due, D.C. has won everything multiple times – they have a rich history. New York is still looking and as far as the players are concerned, we have a chip on our shoulders. The passion of the fans makes this special, just look at how many New York fans made it down there and I’m sure they will have plenty coming up here.
“And let’s be frank, the ass kicking they put on us was a turning point for the season. We got crushed by them at [their] home and then we went on that run of unbeaten games. We’d like nothing more than to return the favor.”