September 27, 2012
A CALL TO ACTION
Cahill: What the Red Bulls' do on the field will speak louder than words
By Michael Lewis
|Tim Cahill: "We've got to do the talking on the football pitch. We can say all we want now."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- The Red Bulls can talk into the next week about how much they need to do this or that.
Midfielder Tim Cahill says actions always beat words, something the Red Bulls must prove against Toronto FC on Saturday (MSG, 7 p.m. ET) if they want to continue their quest for the Major League Soccer playoffs.
"The action can only be spoken with the way we play and the way we can get a result," Cahill said on Thursday. "We've got to do the talking on the football pitch. We can say all we want now. The main thing is that we try our hardest to get the best result. Playing at home is a big advantage. Hopefully we're training hard all week for the end result of hopefully the three points."
with four games remaining in the season, and three teams ahead of the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference and another two breathing down their backs, coach Hans Backe admitted the team's focus is not first place.
It's getting into the post-season and taking it from there.
"I probably will do that -- probably try to get into the playoffs, just being and go from there," Backe said after practice at Montclair State University. "I don't think we should talk about winning the Eastern now. We play three home games out of four and that should be a huge advantage for us. But let's just focus now on getting into the playoffs and have a win on Saturday."
The Red Bulls host Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena at 7 p.m. ET Saturday (MSG). I win would go a long way in solidifying their position in the conference. The top three teams will make the playoffs proper, while the fourth- and fifth-place clubs will play a one-game wildcard game.
Cahill felt the Red Bulls cannot afford to get ahead of themselves and look at other four games remaining in the regular season. The Red Bulls host Chicago on Oct. 6 and Columbus on Oct. 20 before finishing things up at Philadelphia on Oct. 27.
"I think the main focal point now is focusing on a game at a time," he said. "Toronto this weekend probably is going to be a massive game for our season. It can sit us in a good place. It's unfortunate that we didn't get the result in the last game. But to go away, 10 men, and get a draw overall, it's OK.
"I'm going to focus on a game at a time. I'm not going to worry about the next three. The most important thing is looking too far ahead and things going wrong. We'll see what we'll do against Toronto, but guys are feeling good and the guys can get the right result this weekend."
Central defender Heath Pearce indicated that anything besides a win would be disappointing.
"This game is like every home game we've had their season," he said. "It's a must win. fortunately, we've gotten those results most of the time at home. Last game against Kansas City we didn't. This is a game where we can redeem ourselves. We're playing a team that whose coming of a lot of games in the last couple of weeks. So we need to capitalize on that and get three points."
The Red Bulls will be Toronto's third match in eight days.
"This is game against Toronto has got to be a must win," right fullback Brandon Barklage said. "Especially we need to take advantage of their weary legs. They've had three games within a span of five or six days., traveling a lot. We need to take advantage of that."