Dax McCarty made his return to the pitch as a sub in Sunday's 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy, his first time seeing action since suffering a quad injury in an April training session. We caught up with Dax after a recent training session to check up on his recovery, get his take on Tim Cahill's game-winning goal, and discuss the club's current unbeaten streak.
For starters, you got back out there on Sunday when you subbed on in the 77th minute. How did it feel to mix it up in a game setting again?
Yeah it was nice to be back out there, for sure. It’s been three or four games and the first games I’ve missed in a long time. It was frustrating, but it felt good to just get out and run around with the guys, get one or two touches. I didn’t really have too much of an influence on the game, but you know, we got the win and it felt good to be a part of it.
How were you feeling after that, for the 20 minutes or so that you were able to test out your quad?
I feel OK. I mean, I’m just still – my quad feels great, there’s no problems, but I’m still just trying to get back to full game fitness and having my body feel as good as it did before the injury. I think that just takes time. It takes game time and more minutes, so hopefully that will come.
You were out there from the goal. What did it look like from you vantage point?
I figured it was a really dangerous chance we were going to be able to be in the box. So we put everyone forward, and you know Juninho is going to serve a good ball. I think I made a near-post run, I was there, and the ball was just sailing over my head, so I kind of just turned around and I saw Tim bully his way through in the box and luckily it hit the back of the net and I was happy to see it go in.
The club’s unbeaten run is currently at six straight. What’s it like to see the team performing like that as this point in the season?
Yeah, I mean, it just gives our team confidence. We’re pretty confident right now. I’ve been able to I guess sit back and observe a little bit more of the games, and I think we’d all admit that we’re not playing great soccer, but we’re playing effective soccer. It starts at the back, you know? Defensively we’re really strong, obviously Louis is playing very well and making some big saves for us, and then [Jamison] Olave and Markus [Holgersson] have really formed a nice partnership. So it seems that that’s our foundation. That’s our bedrock right now. And it’s kind of the opposite of how we used to play in games past when we used to try and outscore teams. But, it feels good. It’s a nice solid foundation for the back and any time you go on nice little unbeaten runs, it gives the team confidence. So we’re feeling good.
You have two more at home now as well before the break. How beneficial is that for the club to have that unbeaten run in hand while also having home-field advantage? It must be pretty helpful.
It is. It is. We pride ourselves on our form at home. And we’re usually really strong at home. We obviously need six points out of these last two games. We’ve played quite a few more games than most of the other teams in the league, so if we close out with six points I think, obviously when other teams catch up to us, hopefully we’ll still be right around the top. So we’re going to be in front of our fans, and I thought the turn out against LA was very good even though the weather wasn’t great. It was a fun atmosphere to play in front of.