Cahill, Armando available, but won’t start v. Union


New York Red Bulls boss Mike Petke has developed a bit of a reputation as a coach who holds his cards very close to the vest — particularly when it comes to his lineup decisions.

Tuesday night was a different story.

In a candid interview on the Seeing Red! podcast, Petke revealed, amongst other things, that neither team talisman Tim Cahill nor defender Armando would start Wednesday at home against the Philadelphia Union.

“Cahill will not be starting tomorrow. Armando will not be starting tomorrow,” Petke said.

The revelation is a minor surprise, especially when you consider both have been taking part in training the past two days. Cahill has been sidelined with a hamstring strain picked up during the Red Bulls’ 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on March 30. Armando has been out since April 5.

While New York have not won a game this season, Petke has remained positive about his team’s prospects. For as much as he would like to have both players in his starting XI, he refuses to allow necessity to mold his roster selection.

“The reason being is that Armando is a guy that they said 10-12 days, we should have a good understanding,” Petke explained. “I believe we are in the 10th to 11th day right now. He feels good, he has been going, but I couldn’t possibly throw him in from the start.

“Cahill is somebody who I couldn’t imagine just throwing into this mix right now when he is a guy that we said is going to be a certain amount of time, and as always, Tim comes back a bit earlier and he is ready to go,” he continued. “It’s more important to give him a little bit of extra [time]. He will be on the bench, and will most likely will see a role in tomorrows game and then be ready for the Houston game.”

Playing Cahill would be “foolish” in his estimation. As for the absence of Armando, Petke expressed great confidence in the work Ibrahim Sekagya and Jamison Olave could offer in his absence.

While neither player is starting, both will be available for selection. With that in mind, Petke feels he has the right tools to take on the Union as New York search for that elusive first win of the season.

“The lineup I am putting in tomorrow, I feel confident in,” Petke concludes.