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Cahill out three to four weeks, Petke unhappy with news

TimCahillNewYorkRedBulls2-D.C.United (NewYorkRedBulls)


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.


  1. Under normal circumstances, I would rant and rave to have Jackovic suspended for what he did as it was a clear penalty from my perspective. But as he’s a DC United player, it’s punishment enough to have DC having to start that traffic cone every game as he is terrible.

  2. Yea the ref missed calls all game. As a DC supporter, I understand that I am biased, and I thought during the match that the ref was too (against DC), but after seeing the replay on that one, Jakovic should have gotten the penalty called against him and a yellow to boot. Still a pretty bad display of officiating from start to finish.

  3. Both of Tim Cahill’s injuries seem fairly serious. I’m just wondering if he didn’t aggravate them further by staying in both matches?

  4. I gotta bang on the ref bashing drum as well. Playing tough and physical vs. playing dangerous and too aggressive is something MLS refs apparently don’t seem to understand. It’s strange that MLS doesn’t seem to do much about it.

    MLS is a business and they are selling a product. Fans want the best product. Having the best product sitting in the stands with a cast on his foot really doesn’t help sell the league. I’m not saying DPs should get preferential treatment. Injuries happen regardless but if the quality of the refs was higher (or more is invested in training programs) the dangerous play would decrease.

  5. Besided money ( which you can pob get more of itonokay in Qatar) Why would any world class player come to hack a man MLS? I sure wouldn’t.

    • Simple. They want to live in either New York, (one of the world’s great cities to be rich in) or LA, (perhaps the best city in the world to be rich in) also on offer, Seattle (with the insane crowds) Vancouver, (one of the most beautiful cities in the world) Montreal (like Paris, but without Parisians) Chicago, DC and Houston all have their charms to various international crowds. There aren’t that many options for professional soccer players at that level. Once you exhaust the London clubs, Real, Barca, PSG, Bayern, Roma and the Milan clubs, what’s left, save the Kansas Cities of Europe? Asia, I guess. You think Henry is here because he wanted to be a Red Bull? Or Cahill?

  6. Get better soon Tim! We need you back 100%!!! There’s that review committee; aren’t they reviewing games after the fact for dangerous and unsportsmanlike play like diving?

    • I completely agree. Alvarez is totally reckless. He picked up a red card in his first game back from this suspension. RSL needs to find somebody else in that spot

  7. whoever that ref was he was a joke, missed calls left and right through the whole games. Especially towards the ending of it.
    Hope Petke has a plan B in mind because Eric Alexander as hard working and a great guy as he is sure doesn’t cut it in center mid, he is just not up to par with this level.

  8. This is just another example of the type of refereeing the league seems to support. They allow players to think that they have these late slide tackles that even if they don’t lead to an injury does not make them any less worse that ones that do.

    The league seems to be taking steps, but not enough. This is not about playing tough, but pure and simple dirty play like Collin at KC is example #1. I don’t know what it will take to get the league to take this more seriously.

    • A broken leg to a league favorite DP like Dempsey, Keane, or Henry. And mass player outcry & supporter protesting after that. Maybe.

    • Agree – this is twice in five weeks Cahill has been targeted. Grabavoy on RSL got shivved this weekend as well. The league needs to start punishing the players that intentionally injure others. I’d love to see the dash cam of some hardnose Missouri State Trooper get Aurelien Collin pulled over and throw one his hissy fits to get himself tazed or pepper sprayed.

    • For the 100th time MLS doesn’t control the refs. That is US Soccers jurisdiction. And we all know the level of referees isn’t on par with some of the more established leagues in the world but most of the bashing is pure hyberpole and not based on the actual quality of the officiating.

      The best thing the league has done to improve refereeing is having a disciplinary committee giving after the fact suspensions. This isomething that is very progressive in global soccer and will do more for players to think twice about actions, especially ones they think they can get away with.

      There is a good program in place to improve the officiating…but it is going to take a while to really bear fruit. I think overall the level of officiating is better this year than in the past 5.

      And by the way a good ref wouldn’t have stopped the tackle nor prevented the injury. It wasnt a dirty game at that point and there werent alot of hard fouls, Jakovic just was late reacting to the play and made a desperate tackle to stop a goal. If the ref had called it he just would have ordered a PK and given a card and Cahill would still be hurt

      • The point Petke made was that Cahill has been targeted before and with impunity. You can argue that your big money players are one of the biggest reasons why fans come to the matches and watch on tv and therefore should be protected. Beckham was certainly protected in his day. You knew that if you went at Becks hard you were going to get a card at least so you made sure to come at him cleanly whereas now we see guys like Deuce and Cahill and other DPs get repeatedly targeted with no repercussions at all. Clearly there is no edict protecting DP’s these days. You could argue that’s a good thing or go the others way. I’m not sure myself.

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