By DAVE MARTINEZ
New York Red Bulls fans may be days away from seeing the team’s latest Designated Player, Tim Cahill, in action.
Though he won’t be used against the Montreal Impact on Saturday, the former Everton star will likely be debuting much in the same manner like his New York DP predecessor Thierry Henry did just two years ago; in a friendly against Tottenham.
“He is a guy that definitely will be playing I would guess 45 against Spurs on Tuesday,” Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said after Friday’s training. “Today, he is just trying to sort out his visa and get it done today. He will train Saturday, Sunday, Monday and be available for Tuesday.”
Count Henry among those looking forward to the occasion.
“He’s the type of guy that brings leadership by the way he plays,” Henry said. “You will see it. He gets his head in where I don’t even put my foot in. You will see. People are going to love him, especially here in New York. You know how much they love that. He’s an honest player. I can’t wait for him to start and show what he can do.
“Everton, they love hard-working guys. Tim will go down as an Everton legend. That speaks volumes. They loved him there because of the way he played. I can tell you stories about how he plays and everything and how he fights and everything, but he’s a good player, don’t get me wrong. I always remember when I used to play Everton, you know he’s playing in the starting XI, you go ‘Oh, here we go again; he’s going to come in your face with his elbow.’ Nothing dirty; he’s just honest. I can’t wait for him to play. It’s important to have a guy like that up front; it’s vital, especially away from home at times.”
Though anticipation for his arrival is peaking, both Backe and Henry warned about setting the bar too high for an out-of-season player.
“You never know really with guys coming from offseason,” Backe said. “He’s done 10 days preseason with Everton, played 45 minutes at Millwall, but when they did all the medicals, he was in very good shape.”
Added Henry: “At the end of the day, we all want to play. But saying that, I know how stupid I was playing straight away. If you ask me again, I will do the same thing. You just want to play, show why you came. I guess he wants to show everyone he is committed. That’s the type of player he is. I’m going to tell him, but I’m sure he’s going to want to go out there straightaway."