By DAN KARELL
The New York Red Bulls will be without one of their designated players for the second time in the two months due to an injury.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke revealed on Tuesday in his weekly conference call that midfielder Tim Cahill will be out for three to four weeks after tearing ligaments in his ankle during the Red Bulls 2-1 victory against D.C. United last Saturday, an injury that Petke was not very happy about.
I’m a bit angry now that within two months we have two tackles on Cahill that sideline him,” Petke said. “This time it’s going to be about 3-4 weeks, last time was close to three weeks. Two tackles, but he tears a PCL and now he has ligament damage, and both of them go unpunished [in game].”
The ankle injury occurred just seconds before Lloyd Sam’s opener in the 8th minute, when Dejan Jakovic mistimed a tackle in the box and took Cahill out. The referee didn’t call a penalty but allowed play to continue, leading to Sam’s chip goal.
“That was to me, a clear PK call,” Petke said. “Now don’t get me wrong, if the referee’s playing advantage, great job to play the advantage, and we scored on it. But I was a bit surprised, curious, as to why there was nothing even said after that to the defender (Jakovic) who went in with his studs from the side.
“And now we have a key player, the same key player missing, for a very important chunk of the season because of it. So we’re not very happy obviously about that.”
The Australian international midfielder only came back two weeks ago from a torn PCL ligament after a studs up challenge from Real Salt Lake’s Yordany Alvarez on July 27, one that earned the RSL midfielder a yellow card at the time and a three-match ban from the MLS Disciplinary Committee later. Cahill later said about Alvarez’s challenge that it was the worst tackle he had ever seen in his life.
Despite being injured in both games, Cahill wound up scoring goals in each of them, and with his game-winning goal on a trademark header vs. D.C. United last Saturday, he’s taken his goal total to eight on the season.
The month of September for the Red Bulls features games at the Houston Dynamo this Sunday, against Toronto FC on September 14, against FC Dallas on September 22, and at the Seattle Sounders on September 29.
What do you think of this news? How big is the loss of Cahill for the Red Bulls? Do you agree with Petke’s comments?
Share your thoughts below.