Tim Cahill poised to make New York Red Bulls return vs. FC Dallas, Lloyd Sam's status still unknown

HARRISON, N.J. – Tim Cahill’s spell on the sidelines is about to come to an end.

New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters after Friday’s training session at Red Bull Arena that Cahill was poised to make his return for the club in Sunday’s home game against FC Dallas (5 pm ET, UniMas). Cahill, who missed the last two games because of a torn ligament in his right ankle, added that he was feeling refreshed after having spent most of the last few weeks in the gym.

“Physically, I’m fantastic,” said Cahill. “When you get 2-3 weeks off ... you end up going in the gym and working on other parts of your body to get stronger and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve actually enjoyed the other side of being in the gym again.

“It’s all about getting out and getting used to crosses again and footballing, and when the game comes, getting the service to deliver. I’m excited because we’re doing really well and the team seems to be growing and now it’s about taking that into the next game against Dallas.”

Right back Brandon Barklage has also been cleared to play on Sunday. Barklage had recently been dealing with a glute strain that also kept him out of New York’s last two games.

Midfielder Lloyd Sam’s status against FC Dallas is less certain. Sam is still not fully recovered from the groin injury that kept him from partaking in last week’s 2-0 win over Toronto FC, and a decision will not be made on his availability until after Saturday’s practice, at the earliest.

“Sam, we’re not 100 percent sure yet, but he was out there playing [today],” said Petke. “We need to figure out afterwards how he felt.”

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