FRISCO, Texas — Dax McCarty has missed six straight games for FC Dallas, and his frustration is evident.
The fifth-year midfielder had to leave a match against reigning MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake on July 17 due to a strained right quadriceps muscle. And now it looks like his absence could reach seven games.
McCarty wasn’t able to train on Monday and admits he still experiences pain when he strikes a ball with his right foot. Until that pain subsides, he won’t return to training.
Through it all, he's watched his teammates take off on a hot streak, going 11 games unbeaten.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been frustrated like this my entire life," McCarty said. "To see the guys winning and do so well, it’s fantastic—I couldn’t be happier for this team and this organization because that’s certainly what we’ve worked hard for. But to not be able to say I was a part of it these last few games is frustrating, to say the least.”
Despite the frustrations, McCarty said that seeing FCD experience so much success has helped him stay upbeat. He also knows that, as with most other injuries, this one will pass in due time—even if it does take weeks, or even months.
"Right now, the only thing I struggle with is striking the ball with my right leg," he said. "Sprinting, cutting, turning, dribbling, all that is really not a problem. It’s just when I start striking the ball, I tighten up pretty bad. I haven’t been able to strike it at over 80 percent these past three weeks and it takes me a little bit longer to recover when I do.”
It’s easy to see why McCarty is chomping at the bit. FCD are now in their final 10 games and are making a strong push for a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. He has yet to play in an MLS playoff game, a drought he’d like to end this fall.
“Everyone has to deal with injuries,” he said. “Unfortunately for me, it’s come at a bad time—but the team is doing well and that’s all that matters. I’d certainly like to be part of that, but I think the best thing for the team and myself is for me to come back when I’m 100 percent fit.”