New York Red Bull fans are used to seeing Tim Cahill throw his body around the pitch with reckless abandon.
The style, of course, is a premeditated choice by the Socceroos’ legend to lead his team by example. Still, this is a World Cup year and Cahill is, without question, one of the most important cogs in Australia’s plans.
Will that slow down New York’s top goalscorer?
Don’t count on it.
“This season will definitely be the same as last season,” Cahill says. “Every season I’ve ever done is making sure my body is in great form and then applying myself to the best of my capacity and playing like it’s my last ever game every game.
“I’ve had the experience of playing in two World Cups prior. I feel the best preparation is going into every competition the same.”
While that mindset may not make sense to most, Cahill takes a different view on playing unconstrained. “I feel that when you hold back and try and worry about a World Cup, as you’ve already seen with a few players like Robbie Kruse for Australia, Falcao, if you try and hold yourself back or anything, you cant compensate for injuries or things that happen,” he explains. “I feel like you have to be playing at the best of your ability to make the squad and then to be picked to play on the team.”
Moreover, the Australian midfielder acknowledges that the World Cup is not the only competition he will be judged upon. Cahill has said in numerous interviews that his play in MLS has allowed him to stay in the National Team picture. After winning the Supporters’ Shield last season and following a mostly dormant offseason, the pressure to win MLS Cup will be there long after Australia’s participation in Brazil is over.
Both the Socceroos and Red Bulls will be relying on Cahill to achieve some lofty goals this season, and the rugged midfielder knows he can’t achieve those ends running on anything less than 100%.
“I think last year it was always ‘can they, will they, they might, I don’t think they can.’ Now this year, it’s about ‘okay, now we’ve got one of the demons away’ and now it’s basically focusing on what we can do as a team and focusing attention elsewhere,” he explains.
“Overall, [my mindet is] the same as last year. It was a massive thing to be one of the leaders of the team, but also this year to take that on to the second year of being here properly and really showing our intent from the start.”