Even at 34-years-old, Tim Cahill continues to be a central part in the Socceroos’ plans.
The New York Red Bulls all-purpose player has been called up by Australian boss Ange Postecoglou for an upcoming row of international friendlies against Belgium and Saudi Arabia. He joins several new, young faces, including A-League upstarts Tomi Juric and Terry Antonis and uncapped players Brad Smith, Chris Herd, Trent Sainsbury and Bailey Wright.
“I felt we didn’t have a lot of options going into the World Cup,” Postecoglou told The Age. “So with that in mind,we’ve made a number of changes for the upcoming friendlies and given the opportunity to a number of players who haven’t been involved or have been on the periphery to get some game time and put their case forward.”
Mile Jedinak, the World Cup captain, is back with the team, but Cahill’s fellow Vice-Captain, Mark Bresciano, was a notable omission.
“With Adam Taggart still out injured, we’re thin up front. We’ve obviously got Timmy Cahill but Tomi’s one we want to have a look at,” Postecoglou said.
Australia will take on Belgium at Liege on September 4th and Saudi Arabia in London on the 8th. That clashes directly with a September 6th match against Sporting K.C. at home, and leaves Cahill questionable for a September 10th encounter against D.C. United.
They will be Cahill’s first matches for the Socceroos following a memorable World Cup performance by the Australian talisman. Both friendlies will also play a crucial role in determining the roster for Australia’s participation in the Asian Cup, lending more meaning to Cahill’s selection.
Here is the full Australian roster:
Socceroos squad: Terry Antonis, Joshua Brillante, Tim Cahill, Jason Davidson, Ben Halloran, Chris Herd, Mile Jedinak, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Matthew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Carl Valeri, Alex Wilkinson, Bailey Wright.