May 1, 2014
ALMOST AT FULL STRENGTH
Cahill, Convey, Eckersley train in full with Red Bulls
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Tim Cahill is ready to go to face Dallas on Sunday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HANOVER, N.J. – With the exception of reserve midfielder Marius Obekop, the Red Bulls are nearly at full strength for the first time since the start of the season, a welcome bit of news for head coach Mike Petke.
Midfielder Tim Cahill trained in full on Thursday, as did the versatile Bobby Convey and right back Richard Eckersley. None of those players have been a part of the current three-game stretch for New York where the team has taken seven points and has vaulted into the top five in the Eastern Conference.
But now the injuries for the trio have progressed and while not everyone will be fit and ready for this Sunday at FC Dallas, the players are close.
“Everybody was out, everybody was out there except for Marius today," Petke said. "There was no real restrictions, Eckersley maybe a little bit but he played the whole session. So everybody is very close.”
Cahill, who has been out for the better part of the past month with a hamstring injury, was on the bench this past weekend in a 1-1 result at Columbus. While he did not play, both the coaching staff and the player himself indicated last Friday that he was ready to be a second- half substitute if need be.
After training, Cahill did some work on his shooting and looked very sharp in the session, peppering goalkeeper Ryan Meara with well-placed shots that were consistently on goal.
While he wouldn't confirm that Eckersley was set to play as early as Sunday, Petke did say that right back Kosuke Kimura will start this weekend regardless of how the Englishman progresses in training this week.
“I think Eckersley might be the only question mark and Bobby as well," he said. "I haven't got the final report on Bobby. He was out there working and he looked alright."
Petke added about Convey that “he played the whole practice so it tells me that as far as contact goes, he was available to do everything.”
For his part, Convey was active in training and looked relatively sharp, adding some important depth the possible gameday roster for Sunday afternoon.