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Even though United’s forays forward typically flow through the play of wingers Chris Pontius and Andy Najar, the presence of a true playmaker in the middle - whether it be King or a player acquired in the summer transfer window - could help alleviate the burden on McCarty and add some punch to D.C.’s offense.

“I like it a lot,” McCarty said. “It means I can go back and find the ball a little bit deeper and sometimes dictate play from a deeper position, which is something I’m comfortable with.”

No matter where he lines up, McCarty emphasized that he wants to live up to the expectations that accompanied him when he first came to United and truly become the authoritative midfield general both he and the club envisioned.

“I really wanted to test myself,” McCarty said. “I’m constantly trying to figure out how I can do little things that help the team but also help me get back to the way I know I have to play for the team to be successful. And I think I’m starting to get more comfortable with each game.”