A plea for Dax McCarty
September 26, 2012
Dear "Clever" Hans Backe,
How are you doing? Good weather we're having today... You know what, enough chit-chat.
Dear "Clever" Hans Backe, could you please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top, reinstate Dax McCarty as your starting defensive midfielder?
We understand that you think Rafa Marquez is a game-changing player. It's easy to look past his performance the last two years and think of how well he played for Barcelona or Mexico. And even now, he goes out and delivers that perfect assist to Titi Henry against Columbus! What a beauty that pass was. Sure, we get it.
And we understand that you want Teemu Tainio out there. Last year, the Finn was talismanic. The team was so much better with him on the field. And it's lovely to reminisce about the past...
But, dear "Clever" Hans Backe, it's not last year. And it's not two years ago (or however long ago Rafa was a game-changing player). And in 2012, Marquez and Tainio are just not their old selves. They are, face it, a liability in defensive midfield. Oh, sure, both have their moments (and that pass, that terrific pass by Rafa against Columbus, we can't forget that!), but they fail to control the ball and create more than their share of turnovers. Those are the facts?
You know who is not a liability? Dax McCarty. Hasn't he been the team's most consistent player all year? Hasn't he done enough to make the defensive midfield spot his own? Doesn't the team play better when he is out there, and not on the right flank, where most of his talents are wasted?
This week, Rafa is injured yet again, so Dax should get the chance to regain his spot. We say "should", for we have no way of knowing what goes on in your "Clever" mind. But we think that you are on the same page here. And we think -- we hope! -- that even when Rafa returns, Dax will not lose his place.