Red Bulls Notebook: Cahill suffers ankle injury; Sam, Wright-Phillips impress Petke; and more

TimCahillRedBulls2-DCUnited (NewarkStarLedger)

By DAN KARELL

Although the New York Red Bulls picked up a hard-earned 2-1 victory over rival D.C. United on Saturday evening, not all was well in Red Bull land.

Tim Cahill, who scored the game-winning goal on a header in the first half, suffered an ankle injury inside ten minutes, and was eventually forced off in the 58th minute after gutting out his time on the field on one good ankle. Cahill was seen hobbling after the match in the locker room, said that the knock occurred just seconds before Lloyd Sam’s opener in the 8th minute, as D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic upended Cahill in the box.

“When I knocked the ball (in the box), I planted my foot, (Jakovic) got my ankle and I rolled it, and that was it,” Cahill said. “I was struggling from then on. It happens, but you get on with it.”

The potential injury is bad news for Red Bulls fans, as Cahill just seemed to be returning to full fitness after missing two games in August due to a torn PCL. The 33-year-old is also set to join the Australian National Team for a friendly match against Brazil in Brasilia next Saturday, having been called into the squad.

“I might be traveling to Brazil, and I’ll have to see what happens (on Sunday). Shocking tackle, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Here are some more notes from after Saturday’s Red Bulls match:

SAM AND WRIGHT-PHILLIPS IMPRESS PETKE

Before Saturday’s match, the Red Bulls hadn’t scored a goal from a forward since Fabian Espindola scored in the club’s wild 3-2 road victory against Sporting Kansas City on August 3.

And after the lackluster performance from the team last Sunday at Chivas USA, Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke decided to make two changes up top in his lineup, moving Tim Cahill closer to goal, putting in Lloyd Sam at right wing while Eric Alexander moved in the middle, and giving Bradley Wright-Phillips his first start for the club.

Sam marked his rare start with the 8th minute goal, a deft chip over D.C. United’s Bill Hamid, and went on to play the full 90, while Wright-Phillips, still gaining match fitness, was substituted after 76 strong minutes that impressed Petke.

“I thought Lloyd did phenomenal,” Petke said following the match. “I thought we actually didn’t get him enough of the ball in the first half, but when he got it, he beat his man to provide quality crosses.

“Bradley did very well tonight, along with everybody. His timing on his runs were very good, his ball control with his back to goal, playing one and two touch, playing it off and spinning….it was good.”

CARNEY MAKES DEBUT FOR RED BULLS AT LEFT BACK

While Wright-Phillips was making his first start for the team, Australian left-sided player David Carney made his first appearance for the Red Bulls since signing on August 8, starting and playing the full 90 minutes.

It was Carney’s first official match in nearly 12 months, having dealt with a number of injuries after parting ways with Bunyodkor in Uzbekistan.

“Yeah it wasn’t too bad,” Carney said after the match. I’m happy to get a win. It was a hard game, especially getting one sent off, but all that matters was us getting the three points so it’s a good debut.”

Carney came away from his debut very impressed with the atmosphere provided by the fans in Red Bull Arena and the level of play in MLS, joining a number of former players in Europe currently in MLS, who have learned that the league has a higher standard of play than they thought.

“It’s fantastic, it was better than I thought,” Carney said. “Timmy (Cahill) said that the fans were great, you get a lot of full houses, they were singing the whole way through, so it was fantastic. We need their support coming into the end of the season.

“I feel like it was a bit like international football,” said the Australian veteran on the level of play in MLS. “It’s a bit slow but obviously it’s technical, you’ve got to keep it in certain places. I actually felt that the standard’s better than I thought.”

Petke confirmed after the match that he hadn’t intended to keep the 29-year-old on the entire game, but likely the red card to Ibrahim Sekagya in the second half as well as first-half injury to Brandon Barklage changed the coach’s plans.

Carney himself said that he’s still working his way back to full fitness, and played 60 minutes in a match last Tuesday before the 90 on Saturday, though he said he paced himself through the second half to keep from running out of gas.

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What do you think of these notes? Do you see Cahill missing games again due to his ankle knock? How did you rate Sam’s and Wright-Phillips’ performances? What did you think of Carney’s debut?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to Red Bulls Notebook: Cahill suffers ankle injury; Sam, Wright-Phillips impress Petke; and more

  1. MetrofanNo1 says:

    We hate DC, we hate DC, we hate DC, We’re the DC Haters!

    Another game where a player injures Cahill on a blatant tackle and the ref doesn’t do anything. I guess from Cahill’s words are correct, what can he do when the refs are bad.

  2. Scott A says:

    Hack MLSers strike again.

  3. Brain Guy says:

    Tim Cahill is going to erase the bad memories of every bad RBNY acquisition all by himself. Two games in a row where he suffers a severe injury and then guts it out for another half hour or more. He works hard, scores goals, and makes it clear beyond doubt that he cares. How many more “shocking tackles” is he going to have to endure before the hackers get punished?

  4. Smith says:

    DC is a hack team with a bad coach, bad players and a terrible stadium. They will never get their stadium built. They are inane drones.

  5. Coach K says:

    Hats off to Petke for making a very brave decision to bench Henry. There I said it. Lets address the elephant in the room. Yes Henry is clearly the best technical experienced and talented player in MLS But and it’s a big but there are a number of games when he literally drifts around, complaining, moaning, and is NOT a team player. Also he has clearly been of form. Contrast him with our real leader Tim Cahill who guts out for 90 minutes with the worst possble injury, fights for his team mates and commits. So well done Red Bulls for pulling off a tough victory basically with Henry a spectator. You proved that Petke made the right call and a wake up to Henry that while he maks his $5MM, and may play for a mickey mouse team, they still pay his salary at this time, so deal with it!

  6. Coach K says:

    Hats off to Petke for making a very brave decision to bench Henry. There I said it. Lets address the elephant in the room. Yes Henry is clearly the best technical experienced and talented player in MLS But and it’s a big but there are a number of games when he literally drifts around, complaining, moaning, and is NOT a team player. Also he has clearly been out of form. Contrast him with our real leader Tim Cahill who guts out for 90 minutes with the worst possible injury, fights for his team mates and commits. So well done Red Bulls for pulling off a tough victory basically with Henry a spectator. You proved that Petke made the right call and a wake up call to Henry that while he makes his $5MM, and may play for what he considers a mickey mouse team, that same team still pay his salary at this time, so he had better step up and deal with it or warm the bench like anyone else!

  7. inkedAG says:

    Tim Cahill is a warrior!!

    • MetrofanNo1 says:

      And our leading scorer. Shocking! By this standard he should be starting at forward or withdrawn forward.