There have been a lot of firsts for Tim Cahill since he joined the Red Bulls last summer, starting with his first match as a Red Bull on August 3, 2012. Then there was his first assist the following week on August 10 against Houston, followed by his first goal against the Portland Timbers on August 19.
Even this season, Cahill recorded his first-career MLS brace on April 27 against Toronto FC, which helped him earn his first-ever MLS Player of the Week nod.
Sure, there have been plenty of firsts for Tim Cahill as he edges closer to his one-year anniversary with the club. Sunday’s match up against the reigning MLS Cup champion MLS Galaxy is just another one on his checklist.
“This is exciting. I think for me, it’s my first LA Galaxy New York Red Bulls game, I know there’s going to be so much media and speculation about it, and first time playing Landon [Donovan] in a long time. Also Robbie Keane,” Cahill said. “I’m excited because it’s a massive game.”
Massive is definitely a fitting word for the matchup. Given the regularity in which these two teams meet (once a season since the start of 2012, twice a season before that since 2005), New York will face a big test against its Western Conference opponent. Especially since the Red Bulls are driven to push the current unbeaten streak to six games, and also extend the franchise’s unbeaten streak against LA to five straight. Not to mention, New York’s hopes at maintaining first-place seat in the standings.
The Galaxy match is New York’s first of three in the only three-match home stand of the season that also includes meetings against the Columbus Crew (May 26) and Vancouver Whitecaps (June 1).
Exciting as it is to have three straight in front of the home crowd, Cahill and the club are very much focused on taking it one match at a time.
“They’re a top team and you always want to beat the best,” said Cahill. “But I suppose for us the emphasis is keeping with what we’re doing. We’ve been playing some really good football. Some games haven’t been the best to watch, but we’re getting the results.”
After starting the season 1-2-2 for the month of March, the Red Bulls have since reversed their fortunes to an Eastern Conference best 21 points of a 6-4-3 record. What started as a dismal 0-3 road record has since improved to 3-3-1, and New York’s defense is quickly becoming one of the stingiest in the league, allowing just five over the last seven matches.
It comes down to learning from mistakes, finding a groove, and playing as a team, said Cahill.
“Overall for us, I’m really happy with the way we’re going and the way we’re progressing,” Cahill said. “The consistency, the discipline in defense is very nice, and it’s now for us to make sure we can continue that against the LA Galaxy.”
Cahill’s had his fair share of firsts this season alone as he preps for Sunday’s match against the Galaxy. If all goes to plan, and the team keeps playing and improving the way it has this season, perhaps Cahill and the Red Bulls will be looking at another first come December.
Get tickets now to any and all of the Red Bulls next three home matches at Red Bull Arena. Visit Red Bulls Ticket Central, or call 877.RB.SOCCER.