Tim Cahill will miss 3-4 weeks after being felled by yet another bad challenge, and there are two points to make on Monday’s revleation.
First is the ongoing, maddening inability to protect MLS attackers. So long as the hard men of MLS believe they have a reasonable shot at getting away with dangerous and reckless tackles, they are incentivized to try them. In this case, D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic crunches Cahill near goal.
Referee Juan Guzman, inexplicably, saw no foul here. His poor choice was bailed out when Loyd Sam found goal with a cross or a shot or something in between that sneaked past United ‘keeper Bill Hamid, but Red Bulls manager Mike Petke is clearly upset that a bad foul was left unpunished.
Here’s what he probably most upset about:
Cahill is likely to miss at least three matches, one against an Eastern Conference rival, Houston, and two matches at home against struggling teams – the very sort of clubs the Red Bulls must beat to be taken seriously as the regular season finish line approaches. (The full Red Bulls schedule is here.)
Thierry Henry scores the showy goals around Red Bull Arena, and he gets far more pub. But Cahill is probably just as important in the big picture for Petke’s team. In fact, the Australian international’s eight goals this year top Henry’s total by one.
His two-way work is vital, especially considering Henry’s relative lack of the same, and it will be sorely missed.