It is perhaps fitting that Dax McCarty played his 16,000th minute for the New York Red Bulls in a match he would later describe as "an embarrassment".
The 2-2 draw with Philadelphia Union was a match RBNY hopes to quickly forget. Ideally, it will not be merely the latest on-the-road slip-up this season, but the last. Regardless of what happens in 2016, Captain Dax may one day look back at the mid-July tie in Chester and concede it was an apt game for him to become just the second player in the history of this club to play 16,000 minutes in all competitions for the first team.
Appearance milestones are a testament to consistency and loyalty. Dax is in his sixth season with RBNY, and has been a regular starter since he arrived mid-way through the 2011 season. He has stuck around through thin - tie-blighted 2011; 2012's heart-breaking playoff exit - and thick: the 2013 Supporters' Shield, the 2014 Eastern Conference playoff final, the 2015 Supporters' Shield.
The Red Bulls have suffered worse results than a frustrating 2-2 draw with the Union; McCarty was on the field for a few of them. But this latest match was another reminder that if wins weren't difficult, they wouldn't be worth celebrating. Dax McCarty has had more to celebrate than most players have enjoyed in their RBNY careers, but he's endured a few lows as well. His ability to bounce back from those moments is why he has 16,000 minutes and two Shields to show for his time at his club. So far.