Atlanta United sign MLS legend Dax McCarty to one-year contract

  • McCarty spent the last four seasons with Nashville SC
  • He's managed over 450 MLS appearances
  • Veteran midfielder brings plenty of experience with 18 seasons played

Dax McCarty joins the Five Stripes
Dax McCarty joins the Five Stripes / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

Atlanta United have signed legendary MLS midfielder Dax McCarty on a free transfer from Nashville SC to a one-year contract through the 2024 season.

McCarty joins the Five Stripes after spending the last four seasons with Eastern Conference foes Nashville SC, where he was crucial to the team's success in their first four seasons in MLS. He went on to register 121 appearances (fourth-most in club history) for the Coyotes and helped the side to a third place finish in 2021, their highest-ever finish to date.

The deal also contains an option for the 2025 season should the Five Stripes need the midfielder's services beyond the 2024 campaign.

"Dax has been one of the most consistent midfielders throughout his distinguished career in MLS," Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a release.

"Dax is a competitor and will bring a good mentality and leadership to our team. He has continued to prove over the last couple of seasons that he plays at a high level consistently and we are excited to welcome him and his family to Atlanta."

The 36-year-old has enjoyed a stellar career exclusively in MLS and is set to enter his 19th season as a professional in 2024, having made 466 league appearances for five different clubs. McCarty's career started out in FC Dallas in June 2006 before he was traded to DC United in January 2011.

He was then traded again in the same season to New York Red Bulls in June 2011, where he went on to manage 198 appearances (fourth-most in RBNY history) as well as 15 goals and 21 assists at Red Bull Arena. His stellar performances with Red Bulls propelled the side to two Supporters' Shield triumphs in 2013 and 2015.

With New York, McCarty helped keep the club's postseason qualification streak alive - they've managed to make MLS Cup playoffs for 14 straight seasons dating back to 2010, which is a record for a North American professional sports team.

McCarty then departed Red Bulls to sign for Chicago Fire in February 2017, and he would register 93 appearances for the club before departing in December 2019 to sign for Nashville ahead of their inaugural MLS campaign in 2020.

Although McCarty was unable to lift silverware with Nashville, he came so close in his last season with the club in a 1-1 (10-9) defeat in penalty kicks in the Leagues Cup final against Inter Miami and Lionel Messi.

At the international level, McCarty has represented the US men's national team 13 times, playing his part in the 2017 Gold Cup where the US defeated Jamaica 2-1 in the final.

With midfielders Santiago Sosa and Franco Ibarra both heading out on loan for Atlanta, McCarty looks to be solid pickup who probably won't start too many games but will still provide astounding leadership and know-how late on in games.