Q&A with Dax McCarty: On Dallas, RBNY Injuries, and How Stephen Keel Could Learn a Thing or Two from Him

Facing Dallas, RBNY injury, plus, what could Stephen Keel learn from Dax?

Let’s kick this off with Dallas. Going up against a team you played for, against a couple of former guys you've played with - what’s the book on this team?

Obviously we have some strong connections to Dallas. I used to play for them, and now we have a couple of guys who play here and a few former ones who play for them now, so it’ll be an interesting game. We’re both playing for positions in the playoffs. I think Dallas is probably a little desperate at this point to get in that Top 5, so it’ll be a great game. It’ll be great to see those guys again. I know Kenny Cooper hasn’t had the season that he’s wanted to have, and I think he’s a guy who is always dangerous. So you never know with him, whether he’s going to be on the field or not, but if he is on the field you have to be wary of him because he’s a goal scorer and he can score goals.

We’re coming off a solid win against Toronto, riding three straight into Sunday against Dallas – a team that is going to come out fighting for that playoff spot you mentioned. How does the team prepare for that?

I think we’ve adopted this mindset that from hereon in we’re taking every game like it’s a playoff game. Like it’s a knock-out game. Dallas has some unique talents, some guys that bring a lot to the table that not a lot of other teams have. They have a lot of speed. So they’re a different beast in terms of what we have to prepare for. It’s going to be a good game, we’re at home, and we’re always going to want to dictate the pace of the game and hope to bring the game to them a little bit. But we have to be wary of their dangerous players on the counterattack, because they have very dangerous players that we know well. Especially me. I know them very well and what they’re capable of. We have to make sure we have the right mindset going into this game and we have to know we’re playing against a team that’s fighting for their lives to get into the playoffs.

How would you describe the Red Bulls’ ability to not only battle through injuries this season, but also come out of those injuries to key players with wins?

It’s tremendous character from the boys. Some very quality players – Roy Miller, Brandon Barklage, Tim Cahill – were injured at different points in the season. You have to have guys step up. I think last week it was Michael Bustamante. David Carney has been very good for us the past few weeks. That’s why you have depth. A squad of 27 or 28 guys and not just 11 players. It’s big for us, it’s huge. We know that every team has to deal with injuries and we’re the same. It’s been a good definition of our character, I think. This team has a lot of heart and we’ve done a good job of covering for each other and standing up for each other and watching each other’s backs. That’s what you have to do if you want to win.

Let’s shift gears. Being the Twitter phenom that you are, how would you rank Keel’s social presence?

I think he’s coming into his own a little bit. I’d say he’s not in the upper echelon like myself and a few other guys, but he’s got a good sense of humor. He’s a pretty witty guy. I think his humor’s very similar to mine and if he can kind of broadcast that to a larger audience, maybe he would get a couple of better reviews. I still think he has a long way to go. He has to just look to his mentors, like me, and I’m going to try and make sure I take him under my wing and help him out a little bit.

You mention the word “broadcast.” I guess along those lines, what do you think of this season’s Keel Cams since he’s gone to Dallas?

Yeah, it’s a big struggle. A BIG struggle. Sometimes you have to have good material and good subjects to interview, but at the end of the day the host of the show always has to make it easier on the guys around him. And I think since he’s left me and kind of my creative abilities, he’s gone downhill very far.