SBI MLS Player of the Week: Tim Cahill

TimCahill-Toronto2 (CanadianPress Chris Young)

By DAN KARELL

Hearing the catcalls from some of the media and fans about his lack of scoring, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill took it upon himself to make his mark in a big way.

Cahill’s two goals on Saturday in the Red Bull’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC including the game-winner in the 89th minute has earned him SBI MLS Player of the Week honors for Week Nine. The Australian’s goals were his first two of the season, and came in a match where the team was without the normal central midfield duo of Dax McCarty and Juninho.

Cahill beat out a talented group of players for this week’s honor including Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio, New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen, Portland Timbers forward Ryan Johnson, Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe and Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kekuta Manneh.

What did you think of Cahill’s performance against Toronto FC? Which player impressed you the most in MLS Week Nine?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to SBI MLS Player of the Week: Tim Cahill

  1. Eugene T says:

    The goals were solid, but something I noticed in the highlights was how Cahill kept shoving his teammates off when they were trying to celebrate with him (note the picture above). Henry’s usually more polite about it, waving guys off until he does his thing. I get that Tim broke a long goal-scoring drought, but man, that guy looks like a jerk.

    • TomG says:

      Ha! No, that’s pretty common. The first time I saw someone do it I was wondering about it too, but it’s normal. Timmy’s always been a very popular locker room guy. Not a jerk at all.

    • MLSsnob says:

      LOL yeah he did pretty much look like a straight up jerk.

    • metro says:

      Seems pretty common to me.

    • Mark says:

      Nah, Timmy’s class.

    • Colin says:

      As an everton fan I can tell you that Tim Cahill (and a lot of players in fact who have ritualized goal scoring routines) has frequently pushed players off of him after scoring as he almost always goes over to the corner flag and punches it… It is what he does after almost every goal, and he is determined to do it, so I would not read into it at all.

      Tim Cahill was well liked at Everton fans, was always really friendly after games when I have spoken to him, and was very popular amongst his teammates. I watched a number of documentaries on Tim Cahill and he always came across as a really nice, down to earth guy.

      • Eugene T says:

        Thank you to Colin and all others who took the time to reply to my original comment. I appreciate your insights and now understand it’s just something Cahill does with no ill will.

  2. TomG says:

    Cahill has looked much more effective as a CAM with Juninho out. Once Dax comes back, a McCarty/Cahill midfield might be the team’s best bet since Juninho’s form has been so poor. Timmy’s not a pure playmaker, but Dax has some playmaking skills, so between the two of them, they should be fine. They both have good engines, so the midfield work rate and ball possession will be much improved over Juninho who doesn’t seem to be able to keep up. They miss out a bit on free kicks, but Henri is certainly no slouch in that regard and Juninho will probably put in a more energetic shift off the bench. What do you guys think?

    • Danny M says:

      Yeah it is a tough call to make but Petke knows what he is doing. The starting line up for the toronto match up was brilliant. No one could have done it any better. That line up was the reason the red bulls won.

      Juninho has traits nobody can compare to. Shot power, shot accuracy, ball control, passing and vision is what makes him dangerous. He is older so his stamina is not what it used to be so removing him from the starting line up wouldn’t be a bad idea. His speed and acceleration seem to be dwindling as well. He could be brought on to keep McCarty from overworking himself but Juninho is an average offensive threat because of his lack of speed. He shouldn’t be on the wing. He is more of CDM first and CM second.

      Petke will continue to mix and match as players roles become more defined in order to keep players happy and fit. We could save Juninho for any kind of playoffs or games where he matches up well given speed, etc.

      Personally, I like Cahill at CM. I think he is must effective there. Since we have others like Akpan, whom I’d like to see get play time, can fill in up top with Henry, as well as a few others. Sam and Steele are set. Those are the wings. In the center you could do any combination of Cahill/McCarty/Kimura/Alexander/Juninho. That was Petke’s biggest problem. So many descent players vying for PT and at the same time finding a winning combination. For right now I’d go with Cahill/McCarty. Then mix match the rest.

      It wouldn’t be a good idea to put players with the same traits on the pitch at the same time. Hence, juninho and McCarty. The only difference I see b/n the two is stamina and height and juninho’s foot.

      • TomG says:

        Agreed with everything except the wings. I’d put Alexander in place of Sam. I thought Sam was very poor on Sunday, very slow to make decisions with and without the ball. I’d also rather have Sam’s wheels off the bench as he’d be the classic fresh, speed guy overwhelming the tired, slower legs of defenders.

  3. rory says:

    Timmy has a goal scoring celebration, where he goes and punches the corner flag. He did it in his first goal. His everton and australian teammates knows he does it, I guess now his redbull teammates will know it.

  4. Brain Guy says:

    Cahill has missed some chances, but even before coming to MLS he was no longer the goal-scorer he once was. He does lots of things that are so important to the team. He combines McCarty’s workmanlike attitude with a better skill set.

    • TomG says:

      Yes, he’s never been a huge goal scorer (11 being his best total with EFC and 8 his second best). He does a lot of work in the trenches though. Most people expect goals from DPs, though, an issue discussed on the SBI podcast today.

  5. John says:

    The guy that the NYRB picked over Guti…

    The MLS owners seriously need people who know the sport well to advise them. Decisions like that just keep the MLS from improving its on-the-field product and its abysmal television ratings.

    • TomG says:

      Didn’t Guti retire? I think that says it all. It’s so important to pick guys who still have a passion for the game and will still work their butts off for DP slots, otherwise you end up with tourists like Marquez and Matthaeus. You know Cahill’s not a tourist. He will give his all every second he’s out there and back in the locker room too.