For the second time this season, a questionable tackle puts New York Red Bull midfielder Tim Cahill out of action, and Head Coach Mike Petke is not happy about it.
“I’m going to tread very lightly here so I don’t say the wrong thing and get in trouble,” Petke begins, “but I’m just – I’m a bit angry that now we have, within two months, we have two tackles on Cahill that sideline him for, this time will be about three to four weeks, last time it was close to three weeks.”
The timing couldn’t be worse for New York. With seven games to play in the season and seven points separating the top seven teams in the Eastern Conference, every game counts in an increasingly tight playoff race.
New York start the month away at Houston before returning home to face Toronto FC and FC Dallas. Their final match of September, an away trip to Seattle, closes out the month.
Cahill is likely a question mark for that encounter.
This is the second time in two months that Cahill will miss time due to a malicious tackle. Real Salt Lake midfielder Yordany Alvarez took out the Australian international for two weeks in early August after a blatant studs-up tackle. He earned a lenient yellow for the infraction.
“Two tackles that (Cahill) tears a PCL and now he has ligament damage and both of them go unpunished,” an exasperated Petke explains. “That was a clear, to me, a clear PK call. Now don’t get me wrong, if the referee is playing advantage, great job to play the advantage and we scored on it. I was a bit surprised, curious as to why there was nothing even said after that to the defender who went in with his studs from the side and now we have a key player, the same key player, missing a very important chunk of the season because of it.
“We’re not very happy obviously about that, but yeah, he’ll be three to four weeks.”