UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls may be currently dealing with a handful of injuries, but one player who looks set to partake in Sunday’s match against the Chicago Fire is Tim Cahill.
Cahill took part in a full training session for the first time this week on Thursday morning, running through some drills with the rest of his teammates before finishing the practice with a scrimmage and some free kick exercises. Cahill had been limited in what he could do earlier in the week due to the calf injury sustained while on international duty – an injury he played through while captaining the Red Bulls in last weekend’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union – but he made no mention of any pain after Thursday’s run-through.
“I feel pretty good. It’s been a good week for me,” Cahill told MLSsoccer.com. “Off slow to start the week and now it’s starting to load up towards the end of the week. We’ve got a really big game coming this weekend, the momentum feels good with the team. The staff and all the players are basically really looking forward to it. It’s a nice feel.”
With forwards Thierry Henry (MCL sprain) and Fabián Espíndola (hamstring) both doing individual work off to the side on Thursday, there is a chance Cahill could reprise his role as a more advanced attacker on Sunday at Toyota Park (5 pm ET, ESPN2, live chat on MLSsoccer.com). Cahill, however, would not reveal whether he would play further up the field as he did against the Union.
“For us, whoever plays is going to do the job in hand and we’re doing tactically everything during the week,” said Cahill. “We can play different positions and make things work, but you play anywhere and you do what you’re told; but the main thing is when you’re on the football pitch, the XI that’s playing, we’ve got a game-plan and we’re sticking to it.”
Should Espíndola and Henry both be ruled out later in the week, it is likely that Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke will opt to deploy Cahill up top and pair him with French forward Péguy Luyindula. Cahill and Luyindula played together against Philadelphia and though their lack of chemistry was evident at times, there were also some promising moments from each of them.
“I never played with Péguy before and the relationship was fantastic,” said Cahill. “We seem to be get a lot of joy up front, creating things and making things pay for the team. I suppose it’s just a growing relationship that’s going to flourish throughout the year.”