The age old club vs country debate has reared its head oncemore as international teams across the globe prepare for upcoming fixtures.
The epicenter this time around is New York city where Red Bulls veteran, and former Everton favortite, Tim Cahill has got himself in hot water following comments he made in which he signalled his intention to put his international future ahead of domestic commitments.
As reported by Empire of Soccer the New York Red Bulls hierarchy aren't particularly happy with the remarks made by one of their designated players and are believed to be considering dropping the Australian for this weekend's fixture against Houston Dynamo.
What did he say?
Cahill, who has made 71 appearances for the Socceroos to date including games at three seperate World Cups, spoke to the media Friday at the Red Bulls training ground - making his priorities evident in the process:
"For me (balacing club and country) doesn't matter," he explained.
"Coach makes the decision and he has to live by it. If they are upset that I go on international duty, I have stated before coming to this club that it was my main focus. It was stated to the MLS. It is what it is. I don't make the FIFA dates the same time as every other FIFA date.
"It's a pleasure to play for your country."
Club vs country
The Red Bulls clearly feel agrieved that one of their big names has been unavailable on several occasions during the 2014 MLS season due to national team commitments - and whilst no one can surely argue against Cahill's decision to star at the World Cup it is believed some at the New York franchise are becoming frustrated with the midfielder's inconsistent performances at club level.
Appearing in 21 games for NYRB in 2014 Cahill has managed just two goals. This is not a healthy return, especially for a player who racked up 11 goals in 2013.
In comparison, the veteran has been on target 10 times in just 14 games for Australia this year.
And the situation seems to have been brought to a head this week as the next round of international fixtures appear on the horizon.
After his selection for Australia Cahill is preparing for two friendly games against the UAE and Quatar just as the Red Bulls' season reaches its climax with playoff places up for grabs.
Cahill wasn't backing down however, citing his role as a nurturer of future talent as a key reason for his continued involvement in all aspects of the Aussie team.
"I am 34-years-old. Went to a World Cup as the oldest player. My country looks to me to lead the team every time I play...
"Everyone is happy when you do well in a World Cup - club and country - but when you come back and you leave again...we shouldn't be in this position anyway. We shouldn't be fifth and a point away from dropping out."
Cahill's manager at the Red Bulls, Mike Petke, meanwhile insisted that he continues to focus simply on preparing his team for the game against the Dynamo Saturday evening.
Whether Tim Cahill is involved in the team that runs out under Petke remains to be seen.