Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — If the New York Red Bulls are to pick up their first win of the season this Saturday, they might have to do it without Tim Cahill.
Cahill is not recovering from an injury like fellow Designated Player Thierry Henry, but the fatigue accumulated while on international duty could keep the Australian midfielder out of Saturday’s home game against the Philadelphia Union. Cahill scored a goal in a 90-minute performance in Australia’s 2-2 draw at home vs. Oman in World Cup qualifying early on Tuesday and he is not expected to arrive to the New York area until Wednesday night at the earliest.
“Wait and see,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Wednesday on Cahill’s status for the weekend. “He played 90 minutes and flew across the world, so obviously he’s getting back a day-and-a-half before the game. To be honest, I’m preparing for not having him and hoping to have him.”
Here are more Red Bulls notes:
ESPINDOLA, LADE SKIP TRAINING TO NURSE INJURIES
Cahill is not the only player other than Henry whose availability for Saturday’s match is in question.
Forward Fabian Espindola and defender Connor Lade both missed Wednesday’s practice to nurse injuries they recently picked up. Espindola suffered a hamstring knock late in Tuesday’s training session and Lade is recovering from an ankle problem sustained in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to the Montreal Impact.
“Connor, at the end of the game in Montreal got whacked pretty hard just out of bounds, so he has something going on mildly with his ankle,” said Petke. “I think it’s more of just being tender and sore right now. The last report I received is by tomorrow he should be training in some way, so I’m not concerned.”
“Fabian is being evaluated at the moment by the doctors, so we’re going to see where it’s at,” said Petke. “He just went down yesterday, felt something in his hamstring. It was literally the last two, three minutes of practice. Obviously, we’ve been monitoring it all night, he’s getting checked out and we’re going to have an exact diagnosis [soon].”
If Espindola is ruled out of the clash with the Union, Petke might have to turn to at least one of Peguy Luyindula, Amando Moreno and Josue Martinez. Henry could potentially play – he trained on Tuesday and in the first half of Wednesday’s session – but he is still recovering from a left MCL sprain.
HARTMAN SIGNING A RESULT OF UNCERTAINTY WITH MEARA
When the Red Bulls signed goalkeeper Kevin Hartman last week, many observers speculated whether the acquisition had anything to do with the health of Ryan Meara.
It turns out that was the only reason the move was made.
With Meara still fighting to return to full health and Luis Robles being backed-up by an 18-year-old rookie in Santiago Castano, the Red Bulls knew they needed some insurance just in case Robles went down. They got that last Friday with the signing of Hartman, who has been a free agent since FC Dallas cut ties with him early in the offseason.
“With the uncertainty of Ryan and exactly when he will be back in full – 100 percent we’re happy with where he’s at and he’s comfortable with where he’s at – we need some security,” said Petke via a conference call on Tuesday. “To bring someone like Kevin in on a short-term thing, with the experience he has and a situation where he’s going to work withour young players as well, it was a no-brainer.”
Along with being on the Red Bulls roster, Hartman will also work with the club’s young netminders, including academy players, as a Goalkeeping Development Manager.
Do you see Cahill starting against the Union this weekend? Think the Red Bulls can fare well without Espindola if he is ruled out? Happy with the Hartman signing?
Share your thoughts below.