Tim Cahill's groin injury is apparently no longer an issue.
New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke insinuated as much during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday morning, stating that Cahill was already en route from Australia to the New York area and would arrive at some point later in the day.
Cahill had stayed in his native land following the Socceroos’ 1-0 win vs. Iraq in World Cup qualifying on June 18 because of a minor knock sustained in the match and a family emergency. The Designated Player missed the Red Bulls’ 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday as a result. Petke, however, is convinced that the time off will allow Cahill to be available for Sunday’s Eastern Conference tilt vs. the Houston Dynamo (2 pm ET, ESPN2).
“He felt a little something in his groin. It’s nothing to be concerned about, but he definitely felt something,” said Petke. “The thing is, even if he had come back, he might not have been available for Philly. You couple that with [that fact that] his mom had a pretty serious medical issue that popped up, that she had to have emergency surgery, so of course you’d rather he stay there.
“Tim jumped on a plane around 12 hours ago, so he should be here today and should be ready to roll tomorrow for practice and be ready for this weekend.”
Petke also addressed the status of one of his other central midfielders. A day after a report out of France stated that Juninho would announce his retirement from soccer at season’s end, Petke said the Brazilian had made no indication to him or the Red Bulls staff about making such a decision.
“Juninho is 38 years old, so I’m sure that he’s thinking about his future,” said Petke. “I know nothing about him stating – he has not stated to us or has not said anything that I know of anything about his future. I honestly have no comment on that other than he is ready to roll this weekend and anxious to get there.”
In his first season in MLS, Juninho has delivered four assists in 13 appearances (10 starts). He has also earned five yellow cards and one red in those games.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.