New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke is not a happy man right about now. With the Major League Soccer campaign getting back under way tonight after a two-week World Cup induced hiatus, the manager is having to focus on off the field business instead of on the pitch. Specifically, the future of star midfielder Tim Cahill.
World Cup Wonder
Cahill had a sterling time of things in Brazil, rolling back the clock for his Australia team and putting in two excellent performances including that strike against the Netherlands that could well see him land Goal of the Tournament honours.
And as you may have guessed, the two goals that he scored in Brazil have caused a rush of transfer rumour activity linking him with a move down under to the A-League in his native nation.
Well Mike Petke doesn’t want one of his major men getting too distracted with the MLS back in action and has moved to quash those rumours.
“I’m the head coach,” he began. “There’s definitely nobody contacting me directly. You would have to get in touch with our media, with [Director of Communications] Brian Tsao or [Communications Officer] Corey Hanlon here or [Sporting Director] Andy Roxburgh, who answers that as our sporting director.
“As far as I know, I have read the reports but I’ve also read a million reports over the last week about speculation about many things. There’s no doubt in my mind that a team in Australia, or all of them, would be interested in Tim. Just like I’m sure teams around the world are interested in Tim.
“He’s a Red Bulls player right now,” he asserts. “Like I said, I’ve only read the reports you have. I have not been contacted or have not been told about any contact made but that would definitely be something you’d have to talk to Andy Roxburgh about.”
Needed in New York
You can see why Petke will want to keep his hands on the Aussie midfielder. Cahill recorded 11 goals and five assists in just 27 games last year as the Red Bulls got their hands on the Supporters Shield for best regular season record. New York have been rather inconsistent so far in the 2014 season, sitting 5th in the Eastern Conference standings with 18 points after 15 games.