During his first MLS stint, as a forward for the New York Red Bulls, Thierry Henry brought professionalism and class that reflected the game’s highest levels. That background, one that included championships with Arsenal and Barcelona, directly benefited the trajectory of Dax McCarty’s early days with the Red Bulls.
It was the early 2010s, and the midfielder was subbed off at halftime during a match against Sporting Kansas City. He was asked to visit Henry’s penthouse apartment shortly thereafter, and started by watching a Champions League game while the striker got a personal massage. Then, to help McCarty through a rough patch, Henry offered some words of encouragement.
“He got real serious and said, ‘Listen we all have our vices, we all have things that we feel like we need to do to blow off some steam off the field,’” McCarty recalled of the now-Montreal Impact head coach. “He’s like, ‘I’ve got mine, I’m sure you’ve got yours, but I think you need to settle down a little bit off the field because you’re a very important member of our team and I want you to be successful and I want our team to be successful.’”
McCarty, who’s now a 33-year-old veteran with 363 regular-season appearances, took the words to heart. And they guided him during that stretch, with McCarty eventually earning 13 caps with the US men’s national team and a place as one of the best deep-lying midfielders in MLS.
For more from the Nashville SC midfielder, check out the entire clip above.