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Dax McCarty, Chicago Fire reach deal on contract extension

Chicago Fire's Dax McCarty, who signed a new contract extension on Thursday, is shown congratulating Orlando Dom Dwyer scoring a goal against Real Madrid during the 2017 MLS All- Star Game at Soldier Field. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Dax McCarty and the Chicago Fire have reached a deal on a 2-year contract extension with a one-year club option that could keep the veteran MLS All-Star in the Windy City, possibly through 2020.

Financial terms were not announced, though McCarty was making $400,000 in base salary in 2017 and and guaranteed salary of $412,500, based on the most recent figures provided by the MLS Players Union.

“Dax has proven himself across MLS as a respected opponent, and we believe his best years remain in front of him,” Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez said in a news release. “Dax is a very important player for us and how we play. Extending his contract is a key piece in our continued efforts to build a championship program.”

Arriving in Chicago before the 2017 season after being traded by the New York Red Bulls, McCarty had five assists in 28 regular-season appearances. The 12-year league veteran has tallied 19 goals and 51 assists in 303 regular-season matches — plus two goals and one assist in 23 playoff appearances —  during his storied MLS career.

The fiery redhead was also on the 2017 MLS All-Star squad which played Real Madrid at Chicago’s sold-out Soldier Field in August. He tweeted out his approval of his new deal Thursday afternoon.

“After taking time to reflect on the 2017 season, I’ve come away with a very clear picture of what the future looks like for the Chicago Fire,” McCarty said. “Although the year did not end how any of us would have liked, I believe we’re on course to becoming a perennial contender for trophies like Fire teams of old.

 

Winter Park’s Dax McCarty and Edgewater’s Jennifer Myers in 2003 when they were the Orlando Sentinel’s Orange County soccer players of the year. (Orlando Sentinel)

“Together with the fans, our club can build on the foundation laid last season and now set our sights even higher. I’m excited to be in Chicago long term and am looking forward to getting back on the field soon.”

The 30-year-old, 5-foot-9 midfelder grew up playing soccer in Central Florida before attending the University of North Carolina.  McCarty has 13 career caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, and in 2017 made five appearances during the USMNT’s CONCACAF Gold Cup championship run.

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