Taylor Twellman will tell you that Tim Cahill is a player who should be scoring goals, and last year with the New York Red Bulls, he did. 2013 was his most productive club year in a while when he tallied 12 goals and 6 assists. The last time he broke 10 goals was 2009-10 with Everton, and he only ever scored more than 12 goals once with Millwall in 2001-02 (his best overall year). Cahill joined the Red Bulls in 2012 and has been one of the most important players in his time here. His value, despite what Twellman says, doesn't come from his scoring goal (although it's a plus), it's the physical presence he brings to the team, and it's that presence Australia needs at the 2014 World Cup.
Caps: 69, Goals: 32
Service for Australia: Cahill first came into the picture for Australia at the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, where Australia went 4-1-0 (13 pts) in group play, and then went on to beat the Solomon Islands 11-1 over two legs. Cahill stood out tying with countryman Vaughan Coveny for Golden Boot honors during the final stage with 6 goals (all in group play). After a breakout 2004 that saw him net 7 goals total, Cahill has never scored more than 5 in a year for his home land, but don't be fooled, because his goals per game average is still an impressive 0.464. He's also helped the team qualify for the 2006, 2010, and now the 2014 World Cup, with the 2010 and 2014 qualifications coming through the tougher Asian Football Confederation instead of their previous confederation, Ocenia. As part of AFC, Cahill has scored three times in two AFC Cups, with Australia losing to Japan in AET during the final in 2011.
What makes him interesting: Tim Cahill is a very appealing aerial threat, and most of his goals with Everton and Millwall can be traced back to his head. Cahill isn't a tall man (5'8" or 178 cm), but he can jump and get into the mix, and even if he doesn't score, he disrupts the defense. His presence on the field alone will help Australia as he'll be a guy who draws attention, especially if they play in a lot of crosses as it has been suggested. If you want proof of how much of an aerial threat he his, his head has its own Twitter profile.
What to expect in Brazil: Don't expect a lot of goals out of Cahill and Australia. That's not meant to be taken as a shot at the player & nation, Australia was unlucky with it's draw. Group B features defending Euro and World Cup Champions Spain, , and Chile. If you go by the current FIFA rankings released for May, Australia has the third toughest group stage in the whole tournament. Spain (1), Chile (14), and Netherlands (15) all outrank Australia (62), and their average ranking is 10. Only Ghana and Costa Rica face a tougher group stage. Cahill will probably get himself one or two goals in what is most likely his final World Cup appearance, but will unfortunately not make it out of a stacked Group B.
Group Stage Games:
- Chile - 13 June - 23:00 GMT, 6:00 pm Eastern
- Netherlands - 18 June - 17:00 GMT, 12:00 pm Eastern
- Spain - 23 June - 17:00 GMT, 12:00 pm Eastern