New York Red Bulls face dilemma vs. Dallas as Tim Cahill, Bobby Convey, Richard Eckersley healthy
HARRISON, N.J. – FC Dallas are likely to be missing a few regulars when they take to the field on Sunday.
The same cannot be said about the New York Red Bulls.
Looking to extend a three-game unbeaten run, the Red Bulls head into their road game at Toyota Stadium (3 pm ET, UniMas) with as healthy a squad as they have had for quite some time. Tim Cahill, Bobby Convey and Richard Eckersley are all recovered from their respective knocks and able to play, giving head coach Mike Petke a plethora of options to choose from.
“It’s been a while since they’ve all been available, and now there’s some decisions to be made,” Petke told reporters following Friday’s training session. “But at the end of the day, it’s going to help us. It gives us more of that depth back, so the team we put out Sunday is the team that we feel is going to help us get a result.”
While Eckersley and Convey are available for selection, it is unlikely that either of them start against FC Dallas for a couple of reasons. First, the Red Bulls have found a winning formula in the duo’s absence. Second, Petke wants to gradually work the two veterans back into the mix after their layoffs.
“Even though they’re back, we have to figure out the right mix to bring, if it’s intelligent to bring someone like that and throw them onto the field,” said Petke. “It’s all a process, just like it was with Tim that he was back the last two games and he didn’t see much minutes or any minutes.
“Now, he’s fully 100 percent and we took every precaution. We have a healthy team now.”
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Cahill’s return presents the one main lineup dilemma for Petke, who will likely have to remove one of Peguy Luyindula, Dax McCarty or Bradley Wright-Phillips in order to start the Australian midfielder.
That, however, is a good problem for the club to have after weeks of being shorthanded.
“It’s always nice to get everybody back,” said Thierry Henry. “It’s going to be tough for the boss I guess to make some choices, but you’d rather have everybody on board.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.