Tim Cahill's status as a legend back home in Australia was secure long before his Goal of the World Cup-worthy strike against the Netherlands on Wednesday. Will he get the chance to play before his hometown fans sooner than anyone expected?
Sydney-based tabloid The Daily Telegraph and Fox Sports both reported on Friday that Sydney FC are exploring ways to bring Cahill back Down Under to finish his career and that the A-League club is considering a bid to pluck the New York Red Bulls Designated Player from the final year-and-a-half of his MLS contract.
Cahill has never played professionally in his hometown, nor his homeland – the Sydney native left Australia in 1997 to join the youth academy of England's Millwall, where he began his professional career. He then became a club icon during seven seasons at Everton, and moved to MLS in July 2012 when he signed a DP deal with New York.
It's not clear according to the reports how far along Sydney FC's efforts are or if the Red Bulls have even been involved yet, only that the Australian club supposedly has "held informal discussions with intermediaries."
It's also not clear if Cahill is willing to move home yet. His deal with New York runs through the end of the 2015 season.
The 34-year-old announced via his Instagram account on Thursday that his third World Cup would be his last one. He scored a goal apiece against Chile and the Netherlands, but will miss already-eliminated Australia's finale against Spain on Monday due to yellow card accumulation.
Sydney FC have one of their "Marquee Player" slots – similar to MLS' Designated Player designation – free after the departure of former Italian international Alessandro Del Piero. The A-League season runs from October through April.