Australia head coach Ange Postecoglou announced his intention to make Tim Cahill Socceroos' captain for the team's upcoming Asian Cup match against Oman the day before the game (which will kick off at 4:00 am Eastern on January 13).
The move is precipitated by an injury to regular captain Mile Jedinak, who will miss at least the Oman game to ensure he is fully fit for what Australia hopes is a long run in the tournament.
Senior player and country's all-time leading goal scorer appointed national team captain: big deal.
Well yes, for Tim Cahill it is a big deal.
Despite the attempts of MLS to rewrite history, Cahill has not often led his national team. According to multiple reports, this game will be just the second time in his Socceroos career that the (for the moment) RBNY man has captained the team.
It will be doubly significant to him because Australia will be playing Sydney - his home town. As it happens, that is where he reportedly first captained the Socceroos, against South Africa in May 2014. That game went pretty well for him.
Last time @Tim_Cahill captained at @ANZStadium this happened. What will tonight bring?Go @Socceroos @telegraph_sport pic.twitter.com/Ruep6tzRLM— Phil Hillyard (@philthy295) January 12, 2015
Fitting therefore to mark the moment: the second time Tim Cahill has captained his national team, the second time he has done so in his home town, and the second time he has done so while part of the New York Red Bulls. Cahill and RBNY are now forever connected as the answer to a trivia question.
The club may have only grudgingly supported his desire to play for his country, and he increasingly seems to only grudgingly still be a member of the squad, so if these are to be the last few games Cahill plays as a Red Bull - for another team on the other side of the world - at least they are proving to be further highlights of his career.
Congratulations, Timmy. Best of luck in Sydney and in Asian Cup.