New signing Cahill practices for first time with Red Bulls

Tim Cahill at first New York training session

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UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Thierry Henry returned to the Red Bulls from the MLS All-Star game during New York's early practice session on Thursday morning. But all eyes were fixed elsewhere, as the Red Bulls’ newest acquisition also paid a visit.

Australian midfielder Tim Cahill had his first formal meeting with his new teammates on Thursday, arriving in the middle of practice with his agent to greet head coach Hans Backe and general manager/sporting director Erik Soler. The former Everton midfielder, who was in Red Bulls training gear and had a posse of team officials following his every step, even did some light running with a trainer towards the end of the practice session.

“He is a very, very committed player,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com. “Passionate for the game, hard worker, scores goals, very experienced, very hungry. It’s a massive signing.”

The 32-year-old Cahill, who will wear the No. 17 for the Red Bulls, underwent his physical earlier in the week. He is expected to be formally introduced to media on Monday afternoon, so his first appearance for New York could be in their friendly against Tottenham on July 31 at Red Bull Arena.

As to where Cahill will line up if he does take the field versus the Spurs? Backe said he envisions Cahill at a couple of positions, which adds another weapon to an already deep and flexible Red Bulls team.

“He’s a quite versatile player,” said Backe. “He can play central midfield, he can play central striker, so probably those two positions.”

Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.