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Ali Curtis: "With Dax, we're going to pick up his option"

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Well, that settles it.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

At the New York Red Bulls' final press conference of the 2015 season, Ali Curtis responded to a direct question with a direct answer. EmpireOfSoccer.com's Dave Martinez asked Curtis to clarify the situation regarding club captain Dax McCarty's contract option - reported as renewed yesterday, and then abruptly unreported.

Curtis said the club would be communicating its first end of season personnel moves to players and MLS this afternoon. But also confirmed RBNY would be picking up McCarty's contract option.

Matter resolved: the Red Bulls will renew the captain's contract. Whether the intention is to treat McCarty as an asset for a trade or retain him as core part of the first team remains to be seen. Both Curtis and head coach Jesse Marsch did, however, state their commitment to building around the playing identity established this season.

MLS roster rules make it almost impossible for any team to simply hang on to all of its players - there is a salary cap to manage. There will, inevitably be cuts. The first of which we are told we may hear about later today or tomorrow. But don't expect Dax McCarty to be among any initial departures announced as RBNY starts the process of retooling for 2016.