Dax McCarty signs two-year contract extension with Chicago Fire

Dax McCarty has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Chicago Fire until at least 2019, the club announced on Thursday.

McCarty, 30, joined the Fire from New York Red Bulls in a shock move ahead of the 2017 season after spending more than five years with the Red Bulls.

The new deal is guaranteed until 2019 and Chicago has an option for the 2020 season.

"After taking time to reflect on the 2017 season, I've come away with a very clear picture of what the future looks like for the Chicago Fire," McCarty said. "Although the year did not end how any of us would have liked, I believe we're on course to becoming a perennial contender for trophies like Fire teams of old.

"Together with the fans, our club can build on the foundation laid last season and now set our sights even higher. I'm excited to be in Chicago long term and am looking forward to getting back on the field soon."

The Fire bounced back from a challenging 2016 to reach the MLS Cup playoffs under manager Veljko Paunovic only to be eliminated in the knockout round in a 4-0 loss to McCarty's former club, the Red Bulls.

His play for Chicago in 2017 also earned McCarty a recall to the U.S. national team setup, where he made five appearances during the Americans' run to the Gold Cup trophy last summer.

McCarty notched five assists in 28 appearances for Chicago last season and was named to the MLS All-Star team.

"Dax has proven himself across MLS as a respected opponent, and we believe his best years remain in front of him," said Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez. "Dax is a very important player for us and how we play. Extending his contract is a key piece in our continued efforts to build a championship program."