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With Sydney FC filling marquee player spot, Cahill transfer seems unlikely

Sydney FC, one of two teams reportedly making moves to bring Tim Cahill on board, has filled its Australian marquee player slot, making a move for Cahill unlikely.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

If you want to know how important Tim Cahill is to the New York Red Bullsjust look at last night's game.

Cahill, fresh off a stupendous World Cup campaign where he scored two goals in two games, came on with roughly 15 minutes to play and his team down a goal. He won nearly every ball in the air and set up Bradley Wright-Phillips for the game-saving goal.

So when news broke that both A-League sides from his hometown of Sydney were after his signature, we got a little worried.

But it looks less likely Cahill will be departing New York now that Sydney FC has filled their Australian marquee player slot with Alex Brosque. Brosque had made more than 100 appearances for Sydney FC before jumping to Japan and the Untied Arab Emirates.

Like MLS and its designated player rule, the A-League has a marquee player rule, allowing teams to sign up to three players whose salaries are exempt from the cap. Unlike MLS, however, the marquee player spots are limited to one junior marquee player (one under 23), one foreign and one domestic.

Unless Sydney FC can figure out a way to squeeze Brosque under the AUD $2.48 million salary cap ($2.34 million American), they're probably not in the running for Cahill.

That still leaves the Western Sydney Wanderers, who were connected to Cahill via a report in The Australian. It seems a much more likely destination, as the Wanderers shed their only marquee player, Shinji Ono, in the off-season.

But again, financial concerns persist, as any A-League team would likely need support from the Football Federation Australia or another outside entity to afford Cahill's salary and transfer fee.

This summer isn't the first time Cahill has been connected to the team. He attended a Sydney derby game in January, which set off speculation he was ready for a move. It's worth noting at the time he was interested in an off-season loan move to either England or Australia.