With last weekend’s tough outing against the Philadelphia Union in the rearview, it’s time for the New York Red Bulls to get back to work and focus on the upcoming weekend’s tilt against the Houston Dynamo, set to kick off from Red Bull Arena at 2:00 PM (watch on ESPN2). Thankfully, they’ll be doing so with a little extra firepower.
As a result of his red card in the 28th minute, the team will be without Lloyd Sam for Sunday’s match, but the club will see a few regulars returning to action as well.
Brazilian midfielder Juninho has been training all week long and is “ready to roll this weekend,” according to head coach Mike Petke. Defender Jamison Olave, who served his one-game suspension in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Union, will also bring his size and shutdown play back to the lineup. And of course Australian midfielder Tim Cahill, fresh off helping his country qualify for the 2014 World Cup, will be available as well.
Cahill was forced to miss Sunday’s match due to personal reasons back home, but according to Petke likely would’ve missed the match anyway following a slight injury he sustained during qualifiers.
“As most people probably know, Tim came off in that vital World Cup qualifier somewhere around the 80th minute and that was he felt a little something in his groin,” Petke said. “It’s nothing to be concerned about, but he definitely felt something. So the thing is, even if he had come back, he might not have been available for Philly.”
With four goals and three assists over 14 games this season, there’s no question that Cahill has found his groove in MLS. A notorious hard worker and blue collar player, it takes a lot of keep Cahill off the field, something that was touched upon in the Cahill feature that aired on the debut episode of NBC Sports Networks' MLS Insider. Another aspect of that video centered on Cahill’s family and how large a role it continues to play throughout his playing career. Outside of the slight injury, this was another element that played into his missing last Sunday’s match.
“…his mom had a pretty serious medical condition that popped up, that she had to have emergency surgery. So of course we allowed him to stay there,” said Petke. “She’s fine now, recovering. He jumped on a plane [Tuesday morning], so he should be here [Tuesday] and be ready to roll [Wednesday] for practice and be ready for this weekend.”
Great news on all fronts for Cahill, his family, and the Red Bulls as the club looks to get back on track Sunday when they face the Dynamo.
Sunday’s match against Houston marks the first ever Red Bulls Red Out at Red Bull Arena. All fans in attendance will receive a free all in for red T-shirt upon entry, with many sizes available. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.