Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters Friday that the club is tentatively planning on releasing Cahill and Miller to Australia and Costa Rica, respectively, following Saturday night’s home game against the Chicago Fire (7 pm ET; MLS Live). Both Cahill and Miller are in contention to represent their countries at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, and Petke wants to make sure his two internationals have as good a chance as anyone to make it there.
Petke said earlier this week that FIFA rules did not require New York to release Cahill and Miller until after their May 17 match at Toronto FC, but the club decided it was in the best interest of the players to let them leave a week earlier.
“Unofficially officially, this will be their last game before the World Cup,” said Petke. “The World Cup comes once every four years and to get into some sort of debate with federations and nitpicking and arguing, it’s not going to help out the player or us as well.
“We’re looking at this being the last game before Tim and Roy go into camp.”
Cahill, for his part, wants to go out with a bang. The Designated Player joined the Red Bulls in July 2012 with the hopes of elongating his international career, and he wants to repay the club for allowing him to do so by extending their current unbeaten run to five games.
“I want to go out on a high,” said Cahill, who is likely motivated to perform well after missing four games this year due to injury. “I think we’ve been fantastic over the last month. We’re sitting in a great position, but also here is a massive priority for me. One of the biggest decisions of my career was to move to the Red Bulls and MLS to prolong my career as an international playing for the Socceroos.
“We qualified for a World Cup, and now I’m potentially in selection to go to my third World Cup of my generation. … You want to leave on a good note and make sure that we keep winning and this team is good enough to do some great things with or without me. We’ve shown that in the past weeks.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.