The New York Red Bulls are right on the fringe of the playoff race at fifth place in the Eastern Conference, in front of Toronto FC by only one point, and one of their Designated Players, Tim Cahill, will miss the vital league match match to perform for his home country, Australia, in international play.
Australia has scheduled friendlies versus the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 10 and Qatar on Oct. 14, and Cahill, the Socceroos leading scorer with 35 goals, will take part in both contests and certainly serve his country as an important piece to their victorious chances.
The 34-year-old told reporters that representing Australia will always be his chief concern over the club that’s paying him a base salary of $3.5 million, since the Asian Cup, hosted by Australia in January, is around the corner.
Speculation has surfaced that Cahill’s playing time has decreased due to his favoring of international competitions.
But the forward doesn’t view this scenario in that way.
“If they are upset that I go on international duty, I have stated before coming to this club that it was my main focus,” Cahill said on Friday. “It was stated to the MLS. It is what it is. I don’t make the FIFA dates the same time as every other FIFA date. It’s a pleasure to play for your country.
“It’s not tough for me. All I have to do is keep the fans happy and play well. Internationally, get myself ready for a massive Asia Cup. I’ve stated that from the start.”
This MLS season, Cahill hasn’t enjoyed the best and most consistent form, totaling two goals and two assists in 21 games, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Thierry Henry have been obvious focal points of the Red Bulls’ attack.