NASHVILLE - Reunited and it feels so good.
Their mentor-pupil relationship dates back to 2016 when then-rookie Muyl was signed to New York Red Bulls, a team McCarty also led as captain at the time. Having grown up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Muyl was taking trains to and from training at Red Bulls’ Academy and hadn’t earned a driver’s license yet when he signed to the professional team at age 20. McCarty stepped in to give the rookie some rides to his new Major League Soccer gig.
When it came time to make his MLS debut, McCarty was there to welcome Muyl to the field. The Homegrown winger stepped on the Red Bulls’ pitch for the first time as a substitute for the captain in the 85’ minute of NYRB’s meeting with Sporting Kansas City in 2016, a sub that would intertwine their professional lives forever.
In the 14th year of his MLS career, McCarty is tasked with acting as captain to Muyl for the second time for two clubs. His history and experience with his younger teammate makes him certain that Muyl’s acquisition is an event that will greatly change the team for the better.
“Alex is a first of all fantastic guy in the locker room,” said McCarty. “I think he's going to add a lot to the culture of the locker room. It's a really good addition for us, and it just continues to add to the depth and character of this team.”
As a New York native, Muyl has played every year of his MLS career in the NY metro area, making his move to Nashville a monumental one. Luckily, he has a helping hand to guide him through his transition.
“[Dax] reached out to me when I first heard about the news just to welcome me,” said Muyl. “He knows it's a stressful time to go through this but he's done it before and just knowing that he's going to be here and helping my relocation and my assimilation, it means a lot.”
With 11 goals and 18 assists under his belt from his time with the Red Bulls, Muyl’s potential to complement the Music City club’s style of play and earn points is rooted in both the restless energy McCarty has seen since their time together up north and in Muyl’s own Manhattan upbringing.
“As a player, he's a guy that you want on your side,” said McCarty. “He's a guy that you want on your team. He's tactically extremely flexible, [a] very smart player. He's got an engine like I've never seen before. He can run all day and then in the final third in the attack, he's a guy that can get your goals and assists. He's going to bring a lot to our team.”