Season over today for Cahill?
Cahill’s Red Bulls face Sporting Kansas City in a one-off playoff in the Big Apple from 11am AEDT, whereby the loser is eliminated from the race for the MLS Cup.
Despite finishing top of the table 12 months ago, New York crashed out of last season’s playoffs at the first stage and have a poor record at this time of the year, particularly at home.
If Red Bulls progress they’ll face a two-legged Eastern Conference semi-finals against high-flying DC United on November 2 and 8.
The situation means there’s a very real possibility Cahill, who turns 35 in December, won’t see competitive action at club level for the next two and a half months ahead of Australia’s Asian Cup opener against Kuwait on January 9, unless he and his manager can engineer a temporary switch.
Australia does have a November 18 friendly against Japan and is believed to be lining up at least one match in early January, but whether that would be adequate preparation for Cahill for the Asian Cup remains to be seen.
The former Everton man, who has a year to run on his New York contract, was linked with Sunderland, QPR and second tier outfit Millwall in the off-season, but the Premier League transfer window is firmly shut.
Championship transfer window regulations differ, with clubs able to bring in players until November 27 on short-term loans, but not from abroad.
There has been speculation Sydney-born Cahill could make a short-term move as a guest player in the A-League, with Melbourne City potentially in the market, particularly with David Villa’s return uncertain.
First and foremost, though, Cahill will worry about today’s match against a side that the Red Bulls defeated 1-0 earlier in the week to earn a home playoff, rather than face another trip to Kansas.
“The tone is set with us being here (at home), straight away,” Cahill told reporters.
“It’s great to play in our stadium, but the same intensity has to be in this game.”
— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) October 28, 2014