The New York Red Bulls will soon release Tim Cahill and Roy Miller to their international teams so that they can begin preparing for the World Cup.
Just how soon is still up for debate.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke spoke with reporters via conference call on Tuesday, and he said that both Australia and Costa Rica have already asked the club to release Cahill and Miller, respectively, following this Saturday’s home game against the Chicago Fire.
FIFA rules, however, do not require New York to do so until after their May 17 visit to Toronto, leaving Petke and his staff to mull over when they should let their international duo go.
“It’s a tricky situation, especially with Costa Rica,” said Petke. “They usually are very adamant about wanting Roy, now and there’s no questions asked. When it’s a friendly game two years out from the World Cup, there’s a lot of wiggle room and you could talk. But if we refuse Roy to go for one more game against Toronto and if that jeopardizes in any way him playing in the World Cup or making it to the World Cup or something like that, I would be a very sad and angry person.
“We are monitoring the situation. We are allowed to have both of them through the Toronto game. … We’re going to figure out what’s best for us and the team but also the players.”
Regardless of when Miller and Cahill depart, the Red Bulls need to begin formulating a plan to fill the voids left behind by the two veterans. Doing so at Cahill’s central midfield spot should not be much of a problem for Petke, as New York have the proven Péguy Luyindula at their disposal.
Left back is a bit of a trickier spot for the several weeks that Miller could be gone. The Red Bulls believe they have several options, including Bobby Convey, Connor Lade, Kosuke Kimura and more, but none of them have had an extended run of games at the left-back spot in quite some time.
“We have, definitely, options, but Roy has played very well this year,” said Petke. “He’s really gotten into a groove, so no matter who we put over there, they’re going to have to come up to speed very quickly with what we have done on the outside back positions and what Roy has done specifically to make things so successful this year.
“Whoever we put there is going to be trained, and we’re really going to go over with them what we expect.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.