Tim Cahill delivered a custard pie to the A League when he was unveiled as the latest project for MLS heavyweights, New York Red Bulls, and their Austrian billionaire owner, Dietrich Mateschitz.
Instead of Western Sydney Wanderers fans dreaming of rolling out the red carpet for the Australia international, Cahill will now rub shoulders with team-mate, Thierry Henry, and LA Galaxy’s box-office attraction, David Beckham, in the Big Apple.
The Bulls are 13/2 to claim the MLS Cup, this season, according to the betting on soccer on Bet365 Australia.
No Socceroo fan worth his salt can deny Cahill the chance to join the clamour of English Premier League stars wanting to try their luck Stateside, but his tactless appraisal of the A League could have been watered down to sound less like he had dumped the nation of his birth at the altar.
The 32-year-old, a veteran of almost 300 top-flight games in England and mainstay of David Moyes’ Merseysiders, considered a return to Australia “a step backwards”. Get the picture? Sounds a little bit like telling your better half, “Yes, you have put on a little weight”.
In fairness to Cahill, he did say he hopes his switch to the MLS opens the door for aspiring Socceroos to follow his career path, although this again was tempered with the slingshot that he didn’t actually want to play in Australia.
Danny Allsopp is the only other Australian to have played in America’s top league, so if Cahill thinks this will be some kind of end-of-career beano he is sadly mistaken.
The western suburbs native made his debut against Houston Dynamo but could not prevent a 2-0 defeat, and New York fans will be wondering what the fuss was all about, if he fails to help them end a long wait for a major trophy.
Fans of the A-League may also be interested in the AFC Champions League webpage.