Tim Cahill set to play in season opener for New York Red Bulls, but Thierry Henry's status unclear
At least one New York Red Bulls Designated Player will be in Vancouver for the club's season opener.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters via a conference call on Friday morning that Tim Cahill has traveled to Canada ahead of the team's opener against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, TSN in Canada/MLS Live in US). Cahill was in London earlier this week on international duty with Australia and it was decided by the Red Bulls that it was best he fly straight to Vancouver instead of arriving in New York to travel with the rest of the club.
"He is doing OK," Petke said of Cahill, who scored a brace on Wednesday to become the Socceroos' all-time leading goalscorer, "He had a long flight. He flew straight to Vancouver instead of having a stop over in New York and then jumping on another plane.
"He's in Vancouver waiting us and he feels good, so that's going to be a decision that we make some time obviously before the game, but the sooner the better [to determine] what his role is going to be. He's available and he's feeling pretty good from what I understand."
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Petke was less revealing, however, about the status of star striker and captain Thierry Henry and center back Jámison Olave ahead of the match at BC Place, which has the type of turf surface that the two veterans avoided playing on last season. Petke said a decision on the duo was forthcoming, but Henry has never played at the Vancouver venue since the team came into the league in 2011. Olave played there once while with Real Salt Lake during Vancouver's expansion season three years ago.
"We'll see," said Petke. "We're going to see how they feel, we're going to see what the medical department says and we'll make the final decision."
Petke said he did not have the opportunity to speak to Roy MIller, the other Red Bulls player on international duty this week, but said the Costa Rican left back made his way back to New York on Thursday. The club will determine Miller's availability for the trip to Vancouver at practice on Friday morning.