November 6, 2012
LOOKING GOOD, FEELING BETTER
Cahill hopes to start vs. United in the playoffs 2nd leg
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Tim Cahill: “It’s OK at the moment, just precaution trying to make sure it’s OK for the game. We’ll see in the morning.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – A calf injury suffered in the 55th minute of the Red Bulls' 3-0 regular season finale win at Philadelphia looked likely to sideline Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill last weekend ahead of the playoffs. Instead, the Australian international and designated player started and went the full 90 minutes in the Red Bulls 1-1 result at D.C. United in the opening leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s return leg at Red Bull Arena, Cahill seems to be gaining momentum. He trained with the team on Tuesday at Montclair State University, even if coach Hans Backe noted that it was just the initial components of the session such as stretching and participating in “boxes.” It was a good sign for his inclusion in Wednesday night’s Starting XI.
“It’s OK at the moment, just precaution trying to make sure it’s OK for the game,” Cahill said. “We’ll see in the morning.”
He later added that “And now hopefully I can play a part in tomorrow’s game.”
Backe signaled when talking to the media on Tuesday that Cahill should be ready for the match.
The injury came out of nowhere for the player, who has been quietly productive since he signed with the Red Bulls in July. Cahill said he felt a “Slight little pop in the calf” two weeks ago at PPL Park, a match he finished for New York. Tests afterwards revealed a calf strain. He looked a bit doubtful for the match at RFK Stadium last weekend, but given the importance of the moment he wasn’t going to stand idle and let the strain affect him.
“There’s always going to be a cause for concern, it was one of those where it was going to be touch and go whether I was going to play at all,” Cahill said. “I think the meaning of the game and how big it is – I thought it was important I’d play. It was a great result away considering the circumstances.”