By DAN KARELL
Tim Cahill will be keeping busy during the MLS offseason.
The veteran midfielder unsurprisingly made the final 23-man squad with the Australian national team for the AFC Asian Cup, which Australia is hosting from January 9-31. Cahill joins the likes of Mile Jedinak, Tommy Oar, and Mark Bresciano from Ange Postecoglou’s squad that competed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“In the end, I’m pretty pleased with the 23 we’ve ended up with,” Postecoglou said in a statement. “There’s a good combination of the core of the group that went to the FIFA World Cup, there’s some experience there, but also a sprinkling of guys who will enhance the squad we took to the FIFA World Cup.”
Cahill, who admitted that he was focused on country over club over the course of the 2014 MLS season, found himself outside of the Red Bulls lineup late in the season, and finished the year with just three goals and two assists in 28 matches, a far cry from his 12-goal, six-assist effort in 2013.
The Australia squad will meet up as a group on Dec. 27 for a tournament training camp. Australia is set to face Kuwait, Oman, and South Korea in their three group stage matches. Cahill, who captained the Socceroos in Brazil, is expected to wear the armband again in his native country.
Here are some more notes from around MLS:
FIRE SIGN FORMER INDIANA STANDOUT
The Chicago Fire hope that they’ve found their left back of the future.
On Monday afternoon, the Fire announced that they’ve signed defender Patrick Doody to a Homegrown player deal. Doody, who starred for four seasons with the Indiana Hoosiers, could be a replacement for long-time Fire left back Gonzalo Segares, whose option was declined at the end of the 2014 season.
“Patrick is a talented, young player and another local product who understands what wearing the Fire badge represents,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said in a statement. “It speaks highly of the work our player development system has been doing to produce another player who can make the transition to the first team.”
Doody played 83 times for the Hoosiers, scoring six goals and dishing out 12 assists. The 22-year-old famously delivered an assist that Nikita Kotlov eventually tapped home for the game-winning-goal in the 2012 NCAA Tournament final. Doody has also been part of the Chicago Fire academy since he was 15 years old, and played with the Fire’s PDL team during the summers while in college.
DYNAMO ANNOUNCE USL PRO PARTNERSHIP WITH BATTERY
The Dynamo have found their new USL Pro partner, and it’s a club with plenty of history in the league.
The Dynamo announced on Monday afternoon that they’ve partnered with the Charleston Battery for the 2015 USL Pro season. The Dynamo can send “approximately four” players on loan to the Battery during the season. Last season, the Dynamo sent five players over the course of the season to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, though that affiliation lasted just one season.
“We are pleased to announce our affiliation with the Charleston Battery for the 2015 season. They are one of the most respected clubs in USL with a proven track record of success and professionalism,” Dynamo vice president/general manager Matt Jordan said in a statement. “We feel this affiliation will provide our players the opportunity to grow in a quality environment with a staff that is very dedicated. This partnership will be a positive step forward for both clubs.”
What do you think of this news? Do you see Cahill leading Australia to a title? Do you see Doody taking Segares place in the Fire’s lineup? What do you think of the Dynamo’s partnership with the Battery?
Share your thoughts below.