photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
HANOVER, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls will be without Tim Cahill for Wednesday’s match against the Houston Dynamo.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Tuesday that Cahill will miss the upcoming match vs. the Dynamo at Red Bull Arena because the midfielder is not back to full health after suffering a hamstring injury late last month. Cahill made his return following a two-week absence by coming off the bench and playing 27 minutes in last Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, but he appears to have had a setback of sorts as he trained individually on Tuesday after not partaking in any part of practice on Monday.
While the Australian international is out for Wednesday’s bout, he could be available as soon as in this weekend when the Red Bulls visit the Columbus Crew.
“That’s definitely a short-term goal to have him ready for Saturday,” said Petke. “However, it’s important for Tim to feel 100 percent, whereas last year he would play through anything. This year, we’re forcing him not to. It’s not fair to him, he’s a year older.
“We need to get him 100 percent healthy so he feels comfortable and until that point comes that he’s able to do everything – sprint full, fitness-wise get around for 90 minutes – then he’s going to continue to work off the field.”
Who takes Cahill’s place in New York’s lineup is a bit of a mystery. Peguy Luyindula usually fills in at central midfield in place of Cahill, but the Frenchman might be needed up top if forward Bradley Wright-Phillips cannot go from the opening whistle due to a sickness that kept him out of training on Tuesday.
“He woke up with a little bit of a fever and he was ready to come in, but we made a decision to tell him to stay home in case it is something (because) we don’t want anybody else getting sick,” said Petke of Wright-Phillips, who started vs. the Union. “But the day before the game it’s not very strenuous, so it’s not like he’s losing fitness. He knows exactly what’s expected of him if he is healthy and is put up there. We’ll have a better understanding later this afternoon.”
What do you think of Cahill being ruled out vs. the Dynamo? Who should take his place in the lineup? Do you see Wright-Phillips starting against Houston?
Share your thoughts below.