Tim Cahill has officially joined Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua after terminating his contract with the New York Red Bulls by mutual agreement on Monday.
The Australian forward, who won the Asian Cup with the Socceroos on Saturday, spent two-and-a-half years in Major League Soccer with the Red Bulls but he is the latest name to head out of the club in what has been an offseason of major transition.
Mike Petke has been fired and Jesse Marsch is now in charge of the team, while Thierry Henry hung up his boots at the end of the 2014 season and Cahill is one of eleven players to have left New York since the end of the last campaign.
The 35-year-old moved to MLS from Everton as a Designated Player in 2012 and he played a key role in helping the game in America develop and grow.
Cahill scored 16 goals with 11 assists in 72 total appearances for the Red Bulls, a record that means he contributed to a goal every 204 minutes, which is better than his contributions at former clubs Millwall and Everton.
The Australian enjoyed his best season of his career in 2013 with the Red Bulls as he led the team for goals with 11 while also adding four assists in 27 regular season appearances in a campaign that saw him named an MLS All-Star and New York Red Bulls MVP.
However last season was a very different story as Cahill only managed to find the net three times in 27 regular season and playoff games.
It could be a case of age catching up with him, or perhaps his involvement in the World Cup affected his campaign more than it should of in 2014, but he is moving on at the right time for both himself and the club.
His departure frees up another Designated Player slot for the Red Bulls, and they can now plan to bring in two more DP’s should they wish to.
Cahill left his mark on the New York Red Bulls as an organisation and helped the club to its first ever MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2013, an achievement that Cahill ranks as one of the best in his career.
“I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time at the Red Bulls and leave with great memories,” Cahill said after confirming his departure.
“I joined with the ambition of helping to grow and positively affect soccer in the US, and I feel immensely proud of what we achieved as a team during my time in the MLS. Winning the Supporters’ Shield was, without doubt, one of the best moments I have experienced in my career, and I am now looking forward to my next chapter.”
Will the New York Red Bulls miss Tim Cahill in 2015?