But Cahill says the drive to make a club like New York better and to help his teammates around him learn is one of the major factors for continuing his career in the USA.
"A lot of people talk about money and me coming to America but I didn't want to be just this player that was coming over for the wrong reasons," he said on MLS Insider.
"I said that I wanted to be part of a project that is going to be around for a while, and if I bring my family and wife here, then I want to give everything to it."
Cahill added: "If they can see you playing left wing, right wing, middle, back - whatever - then they look at you and say, 'OK, he's not an individual', and that's the most important thing for me.
"I feel like with all these guys that I'd do anything for them because I've been there and done it and I'm in a fortunate enough position that I can help them.
"It's just giving them an insight into what you've experienced and at training I'm saying, 'hey, maybe you can do it this way?, Also if you ever need anything off the park, you've got my number and you can use it at any time.'"
There was no greater moment than Cahill proving this when he went in to bat for teammate Kenny Cooper after he missed a penalty in an unsuccessful playoff with DC United last year. Cahill said he would field questions from the media so he could protect a grieving Cooper, which prompted head coach Mike Petke to applaud his devotion to the New York cause.
"Don't underestimate someone like Tim's loyalty to this team," said Petke.