FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – University of North Carolina midfielder Dustin McCarty has heard enough. He’s tired – and frankly fed up – of all the “Dax’s brother” references, and is committed to end them if selected in next Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft.
“It’s annoying trying to follow in my brother’s footsteps,” Dustin McCarty told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “I want to make a new name for myself.”
Five-year MLS veteran and current D.C. United midfielder Dax McCarty happens to be Dustin’s older brother. But not by that much: Dax is 23, just one year Dustin’s senior. The younger McCarty's mission to step out of his older brother's shadow begins on Saturday, when Dustin’s AdiPure squad get things started in the 2011 MLS Player Combine at Central Broward Regional Park.
The cut-throat nature of the Combine is not lost on Dustin, and having a brother in MLS who participated in the same event back in 2006 has resulted in some pointed advice.
“[Dax] told me, ‘Don’t worry about your team winning as much as you showing off’ because that’s what the Combine is all about,” Dustin said.
The 22-year-old is coming off three consecutive appearances in the NCAA College Cup with the Tar Heels after starting off his career at the University of Central Florida. Turmoil in the UCF soccer squad forced Dustin to seek a transfer and UNC – where his brother also played – offered enough scholarship money to make the move worthwhile.
Despite playing numerous positions in his Tar Heels career, Dustin will likely feature at holding midfield during the Combine. The scouting report reads like a mirror image of his brother: “a terrier,” “workhorse,” and “unsung hero.” They say that while Dax may have smoother technique, Dustin has the better vertical jump.
The two grew up playing side by side in central midfield as kids and Dustin tells stories of how Dax would constantly be in his ear during those matches. It could happen all over again if D.C. United make a move and snap up the younger McCarty.
Now that they are years older, the sibling rivalry of their childhood would definitely take a backseat if they were to share the pitch at RFK Stadium.
“That’d be awesome,” Dustin said. “It’d give my parents an easy team to root for.”