On Saturday night, July 31st was the official debut for Thierry Henry in Major League Soccer as the New York Red Bulls traveled down to Houston and faced the Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. The hope was to see a successful partnership with Juan Pablo Angel and become a brand new terror in the ranks of MLS. Well after that performance this past Saturday, I say these two are just getting warmed up.
Every single time these two were attacking the net, you were always on the edge of your seats waiting to see if a big goal is going to come & early on it would be Henry becoming the provider to Angel. A quick hard cross in the tenth minute produced Angel’s first goal of the match & in the 58th minute, it was Henry again laying the ball off to a running Angel and once he got into position ripped a hard rising shot for his second of the match.
While Henry looked pretty good and we were originally told he was going to get a maximum of sixty minutes, we assume Henry told Head Coach Hans Backe that he could go the full ninety and after watching the match he looked pretty good and never saw any form of heavy breathing or limping on the field. But the one thing he did lack for his first match in MLS Soccer was not filling up the net with goals.
Now obviously he was away from the training field for the last several weeks before he played in the friendly against Tottenham Hotspur of the Barclays NY Challenge. Even with the opening 45 minutes he looked pretty good and scored that fantastic sliding right footed goal in the 25th minute. But with his sharpness lacking against Houston a wide open chance on a breakaway, became a major miss and even he couldn’t believe the gaff he created.
But as the season does go on there will be plenty of chances that Henry will create for his teammates as well for himself. That sharpness will return and he will be scoring plenty of goals for his new adopted city. Every single time he has the ball at his feet, there is a major buzz going around the stadium and the anticipation of what he is going to do next will always be there. Will he setup Angel? Will he score? Will he miss the net and of course will there be some drama at the end.
These are the questions that everyone will be asking once Henry comes to your home town or when he is back home playing at Red Bull Arena. Right now Thierry Henry is at the start of his four & a half year contract and while some of the clubs in the league missed him and will have to wait till the 2011 season, something does tell me that he will bring up the popularity of the sport here in this country.
Everyone already knows who he is and when I was walking around Manhattan a couple of times wearing my New York Red Bulls shirt before the official announcement of his signing came true, I had many people ask me if this will happen. Arsenal supporters asking me if this will happen & I told them that I had a good feeling it will happen. Now it’s happened and right now the league is benefitting from the rewards.