HANOVER, N.J. – As he continues to battle a hamstring injury suffered late last month, it's unlikely that Designated Player Tim Cahill will start when the New York Red Bulls take on D.C. United in the teams' Atlantic Cup clash on Saturday at RFK Stadium.
But don't him rule him out entirely.
“There’s always reason for optimism with Tim,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said Wednesday. “But I think with only two more sessions to go before the game, if I was a betting man, if anything, he’ll be used in a role off the bench or something along that aspect at this point.”
Cahill did not participate in the Red Bulls’ practice on Wednesday morning while still recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered in the 1-1 draw vs. Chivas USA on March 30.
Cahill is just one of several players on the Red Bulls’ growing list of injuries, a list that may have grown even larger on Wednesday. Veteran midfielder Bobby Convey left the training session early with what appeared to be a leg injury. Petke did not immediately know the severity of the knock, but said he would check with the medical staff later in the day.
Also on Petke’s agenda was a conversation with friend and Under-20 US national team head coach Tab Ramos. Ramos included center back Matt Miazga on the 21-player roster for the upcoming Dallas Cup earlier on Wednesday, but with veteran central defender Armando ailing from the hamstring knock sustained in this past weekend’s 2-2 draw in Montreal, New York might be forced to keep Miazga.
“I know that [RBNY technical director Ricardo Campos] has reached out to them and I’m going to figure this out because I know what’s best for Matt,” said Petke. “But at the end of the day, we can’t leave ourselves exposed.”
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One piece of good news on the injury front for the Red Bulls is that Roy Miller took part in some of Wednesday’s session. Miller left last weekend's match against the Montreal Impact at halftime because of Achilles inflammation, but his status for the duel in D.C. looks better than it did earlier this week.
“Roy’s out [at training], Roy’s feeling better,” Petke said. “We’re anticipating tomorrow Roy will be in full, completely, and take it from there.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.