HARRISON, N.J. — After the final whistle signaled the end to the Red Bulls' 5-0 defeat of Toronto FC on Wednesday night, a handful of New York players walked in the direction of the South Ward, clapping along the way to show their appreciation to the supporters.
Most of the players ended their walk somewhere in the 18-yard box. Not Dax McCarty.
Playing his first home game in a New York kit, the newly arrived midfielder went to the wall behind the goal to introduce himself to the club’s most boisterous fans.
“Those guys were very loud, very passionate,” McCarty said after the match. “I just wanted to go over there and make sure that they knew that I’m happy to be here, I’m very proud to be a Red Bull now and that I’m going to give my all on the field.”
For McCarty the display was as much about reciprocity as it was saying “hello.”
“I know it means a lot to them so it means a lot to me,” he said. “So I just wanted to go over there and show them that I appreciate their support.“
So does the New York crowd feel different than what McCarty experienced in DC and Dallas?
“Dallas is getting better, but it’s more of a family atmosphere,” McCarty said. “They’re not as loud, but very supportive still. But obviously when you get chances and get goals, having guys that are jumping, bouncing and singing the whole game, it just kind of inspires you to make that extra run when you’re tired and to work that much harder for the team.
“It’s a good advantage for us and we have to make the most of it when we play at home,” McCarty added, “because three points at home is a must, always.”