August 13, 2012
Backe has no problem with Cahill performing for Australia in internationals
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Red Bulls coach Hans Backe says he will have no problem allowing Tim Cahill (above) lay for Australia in important international matches in September and October.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – There won’t be any roadblocks from Red Bulls coach Hans Backe if Tim Cahill wants to continue his international career with Australia.
In the past two years with New York, Backe has discouraged players from continuing their international careers, especially those from Europe who would have to endure a taxing cross-Atlantic journey to represent their home countries.
This has included midfielder Joel Lindpere, who declined calls from Estonia in 2010 and last year when Backe was surprised that Dwayne DeRosario was going to participate with Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It is a natural reaction from Backe to want to keep his players close to home and under his watchful eye.
But Cahill, who is the heart and soul of the Australian National Team, is free to represent the Socceroos, despite the long flights that will entail. Backe hasn’t even sat down to talk to his designated player about his international career.
“Not really, we haven’t sat down but he will of course play for Australia,” Backe said.
“Definitely in September, October when they play qualifications.”
This year as opposed to last season, the Major League Soccer calendar is much more in line with the international calendar, meaning that players aren’t getting called away as much from their club on fixture dates. As such, Backe is more willing to let his players get called up by their national teams.
Three Red Bulls players will likely see the field this week for their national teams and when Cahill gets the call this fall, Backe will be fine with that, too.
“When we have the break, I think it’s quite OK, comparing to last year," Backe said." Of course they will travel a lot, be a little fatigued but with that break, they should be quite OK."
“Last year when we had to play games, competitive games then we had a problem.”
As such, the Red Bulls have depth this year, meaning that they can allow a Cahill to play for his national team and then not worry about his fitness and form when he returns. The return of Teemu Tainio and Rafa Marquez to health means that Backe doesn’t have to rush Cahill right back onto the pitch.
But as evidenced following Friday night’s 2-0 win against Houston, Cahill is near prime fitness and that bodes well for a player who will juggle a busy fall with international calls, the MLS regular season then potentially the playoffs.
“With Tim he played 90 and he was a fresh 90," Backe said. "He should be in for 90 as it looks now. Training every session. I think with Teemu, Rafa training every session now, just getting fitter.
“These players also need competitive minutes – how much they can play? I’m not sure but I’d think up to 45 in an intense game but I’m just guessing.”