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Prayers Are Answered In New York, Henry Is Here


It has been the worst kept secret in all of Major League Soccer. So many hints, video teases, assumptions and of course Sporting Director Erik Soler meeting the media and keeping quiet about his name being mentioned as contract negotiations were on going, but after going thru all the formalities now it’s official. Thierry Henry is a member of the New York Red Bulls.

“it is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognizable soccer players over the past 15 years,” said Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Head of Red Bull Global Soccer. “We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner.”

In 1994 Henry started his professional football career with AS Monaco of French League One, but in 1999 he was transferred to Italian side Juventus for a short period of time. Then Arsene Wenger who has been managing Arsenal in the English Premiership since 1996 brought his countryman over and the love affair at highbury began. 174 goals in 254 appeareaces along with two Premier League titles in 2001-02 & 2003-04 seasons and three FA Cup titles back to back in 2002 & 2003, then their third in 2005.

But Henry wanted a new challenge and that came with F.C. Barcelona of La Liga after eight glorious years with Arsenal. He came over to Catalonia in the 2007-08 season. But it was his second season that made him a memorable figure for the Spanish side. At the end of 2009 Barca would take the La Liga Title, Copa del Ray, UEFA Champions League by defeating Manchester United two goals to nil, then the Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup & the end of the year FIFA World Club Cup Title defeating Copa Libertadores Champions Estudiantes of Argentina in Extra Time two to one.

Let’s also not forget some of Henry’s international career moments playing for his country in France. Since 1997 he has made 123 appearances for his country scoring 51 goals. Helped France win their first World Cup defeating Brazil three goals to nil when they hosted back in 1998, the European Cup in 2000 defeating Italy two to one in extra time, then in 2003 when France hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup where he scored four goals and the final match winner against Cameroon in extra time.

But as we all know from this past La Liga season there has been some strife between Henry and current manager of Barcelona Pep Guardiola. Henry was slowly phased out from the plans of Guardiola and when Henry wasn’t subbed in for the second leg of this past UEFA Champions League semi-final, it was time for him to move on into a new chapter in his life. That new chapter is here in New York City, the Red Bulls & Major League Soccer.

On Wednesday, July 14th Thierry Henry has officially signed with the New York Red Bulls and it’s been said before, the worst kept secret in all of MLS has finally come true. “Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner,” said Erik Soler, Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director. “He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organization the premium franchise in Major League Soccer.”

The press conference for Henry will be this Thursday at 1:15PM at Red Bull Arena and for the many in the New York City Tri-State area who have watched him play all those years for Arsenal & Barcelona on Fox Soccer Channel, GOL TV & ESPN he is officially coming to the greatest city in the world & it fits very well to one of the games world class players.

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  1. Dr.Staunch

    July 16, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Henry is a cheat and a mercenary. Dark day for the MLS

  2. Setting the Table

    July 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Other leagues are looking to MLS and its basic structure as far as salary caps/ceilings. Manchester United is in debt up to its eyeballs, Barcelona is getting a loan to play its players, and these are the most lucrative clubs in the world! The exorbitant salaries and transfer fees are going to ruin the “free market” clubs over time. The lower leagues in England already have a rule about spending only a certain percentage of revenue on salaries/transfers in order to keep them solvent.

  3. sergio lima

    July 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Does anybody knows the amounts involved in the transaction?

  4. UpTheBlues

    July 15, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Get rid of the salary cap, and MLS will grow faster. And why is Garber the commish? We need soccer people to run this league, not NFL people.

  5. tylawfan1

    July 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    For those who feel Henry is washed up, it was just two years ago that he absolutely lit it up for Barca on their way to winning trophy after trophy. If someone’s reasoning for Henry being washed up is that he didn’t start every game for them last season, then they should come up with something better than that lame logic. Very few players can do that. There are a number of teams in the Premiership and around the world that would love to have Henry. At 32, this guy can still ball. He seems committed and soccer fans around the country, whether already MLS fans or not, should be excited and applauding this move… Also people, stop asking for MLS to spend with reckless abandon. That was the NASL and that’s what killed the league. Slow, careful, calculated growth is what has made Don Garber one of the most respected commisioner’s in all of sports and a leader that soccer folks around the world have turned to. Kudos to him, a great day for MLS!…

    • Alex

      July 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

      difference is, thats the spanish league, this is MLS. henry has more talent in his toe nail than all of MLS combined but you cant expect him to be new jersey’s saviour and win the cup. also stop using that “NASL” excuse over and over again. that sort of propaganda is what has everyone on board with MLS mediocre level of play when it can be much much more than that. and investing money is not spending money. to be fair to garbage garber he is focusing more on expansion clubs than the level of play and success rate of mls abroad and he did say he will be comitted to that once the 20th club gets established (GO NYC!!) but then again i dont believe in having one man rule all 20 clubs with a iron fist. clubs need to operate on their own. its like the separation of church and state.

    • sergio lima

      July 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Two yers could be longer than life for some veteran players.

    • Alex

      July 15, 2010 at 11:23 am

      and Don Garber being the most respected commish. in all sports and a leader that soccer folks around the world have turned to? where on the freakin earth did you hear that? why would soccer people turn to a ex. NFL exec? if i remember correctly he went to a meeting with several premiership club officials selling the idea of single entity and a salary cap. they all laughed at him, hes a joke. not only that HE TRIED TO SELL OUR LEAGUE TO THOSE GUYS! he was practically begging EPL officials. he’s like a pimp and his mls “franchises” his hoes. what i mean by that is he tried to ask premiership clubs to buy mls clubs. do you know what that will do? it will turn us into some sort of reserve league for the EPL. do you really think the EPL would want to invest in MLS to make it better than the EPL? hell no. they know our potential, the whole world knows our potential to be a great soccer league, they arnt about to let that to happen. next thing you know you’ll see la galaxy turn into Everton LA, NJRB into Tottenham hotspur New York or Manchester D.C. United all of them with D-rate players. why on earth will people respect a commish. that would whore out a league like that? also what progress have we made in terms of performance when it comes to our league? have we won a champions league? have our clubs improved? this guy believes in some communistic agenda that all clubs have to be the same and sets a cap on the growth in order to be closed off from the rest of the world because apparently the rest of the world doesnt know how to run a soccer league. I ask you again, do soccer people really respect a commish. like that?

      • Charles

        July 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

        I love the Don, I think that he is doing it almost exactly right.
        I would have moved the salary cap up, we need to keep the US national team guys here.

        The USL was a free market league, why didn’t it work and pass the MLS up ? (crickets) They were both first division soccer leagues and……


        • Alex

          July 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm

          no i think USL was the sanctioned Second division through and through. MLS was created by USSF as a first division league, a promise they made with FIFA in order to obtain the world cup rights. granted MLS and USL do have business compitition but they never had compitition as to who will be the first division. and i think NASL/USL do have free market because clubs are individual and not part of a single entity. they are still called franchises though for some reason.

          • Charles

            July 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm

            I guess I don’t understand. USL was the USL First Division. It was called such. Why does it matter what USL classified them as ? I went to many many many games, I had no idea if they were first or second division. I just went to see the Sounders play.
            So as a sanctioned second division they had handcuffs ? They were NOT a free market, free to grow and pay salaries as they saw fit ?
            I guess I have to disagree, the reason the Sounders didn’t join MLS in the first place was because Oki ( owner ) didn’t like the joint ownership and wanted the free market.
            The same free market that everyone seems to be the solution to MLS.

          • Charles

            July 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm

            sorry some of that didn’t come out right.
            What does it matter what USSF classifies them as ?

            And I meant to say the everyone seems to think that if we only had free markets we would be golden, the solution to the MLS growth problem. I disagree, why didn’t it work in for ALeague/USL etc ( which I still think was a first division, competiting league, in different markets, with MLS )

  6. Lyon Fan

    July 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Wow…some seriously deluded MLS fans in here!

    Personally I will admit that I am a Euro snob of the first order but if anyone who supports MLS or Red Bulls thinks that Henry “isnt good enough” you have got to be on crack.

    Most EPL teams would love to have Henry. My team, Lyon would also love to have Henry. And let me assure you, after 7 consecutive league titles, compared to 0 titles at New York….hmm I think Henry is too good for the MLS.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      July 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      Then please tell us why your precious Olympique Lyonnais never actually made any attempts to bring Henry back to France. Please tell me why Henry never went back to EPL.

      It’s nice to know that Lyonnais won 7 straight Ligue One titles & it is a great acomplishment don’t get me wrong, but he chose to come here. He wants to be here and he wants to help this club win a title, but we are nothing to you anyway.

      So please move along.

    • Charles

      July 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Who said he wasn’t good enough ?

      ps. noone cares that you root for Lyon.

      • Lyon Fan

        July 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        all the people who said he was “washed up”, “over the hill”, “past it”….etc, etc, etc.

        these are probably the same people who, had they been in NY during the NASL would have been grumbling about Pele coming to the Cosmos AFTER the peak of his career.

        get over yourselves people. you all sound like the guy who wins the lottery and then complains that he has to pay taxes on his winnings.

  7. Charles

    July 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    As someone that has a rediculously bad mouth at my job, I would still prefer that blogs that kids read like this one not have F-Bombs in them.
    Just not that classy. Just my $0.02.

    Henry’s benefit to the league will be in the fans that he draws and the money that he makes.
    Look at Ljungberg and Beckham’s contributions on the field. Not that big of an impact, in fact many in Seattle would rather Freddie be subbed for an 18 year old right now. Not saying he will bomb, just saying there will be over 200 players starting soon, he is one of them…..
    BUT when it came to selling tickets and jerseys having Keller and he on the team really put umph behind the marketing effort. The umph that unknowns like Zakuani, Montero, Alanso weren’t going to have.

  8. Football fan

    July 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    This makes the Red Bulls’ USOC loss at Harrisburg even more painful. If the Red Bulls took the match seriously, AS THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO, they’d have Thierry Henry available for the semifinals and final. But no, NYRB are stupid. The Red Bulls will not qualify for the CCL even with Henry’s help. Their opportunity was with the USOC. They pissed it away. I’m so angry, I am no longer a NYRB fan. Fuck them.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      July 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      Football Fan please calm down. This team took the US Open Cup seriously. Backe treated his players who won the three qualifiers to continue on in the 3rd round. They did a good job, one single chance for Harrisburg did NY in.

      And just to read your post is also pathetic. Either be with them or not at all. Don’t make the typical excuse of why you want to leave the team.

    • Alex

      July 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      former nj energy drinks fan myself, i share your pain.

  9. Dave C

    July 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    @ Dan Feuerstein:
    As someone mentioned on another thread, you should really run your articles through a spell checker, and maybe have some one else review them, before posting them on line. I don’t like to sound like a grammer-nazi, but some of your article just hurts my eyes.

    Also, saying Henry spent “Eight to nine years at Arsenal” sounds a little weird – was it 8 years or 9 years? Was it nearly 9 years?

    @ DeadDoug:
    I think this counts as significant progress. Ask yourself this – is Henry now (albeit past his prime) better or worse than most players in the MLS. I would suggest he’s better (far, far better). So he’s raising the overall quality of the league. So how is this not progress?

    To say that the MLS won’t see progress until guys in their primes are playing here is wrong. That might be the end-goal, but every little stepping stone in that direction is progress in its own right.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      July 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      Dave C. For the last time. ALL MY ARTICLES ARE SPELL CHECKED! STOP BEING A JERK! There. I feel better now.

      • Dave C

        July 14, 2010 at 2:04 pm

        I’m trying not to be a jerk, and I like the fact that you seem to have rectified some of the more obvious errors (like the issue of eight or nine years at Arsenal)d. You still misspelt Arsene Wenger though (I can kind of forgive you for that, since it’s not a recognized word in MS Word spellcheck, and it is a foreign name). Highbury should start with a capital H too. You misspelt “appearances” in the following sentence too. Damn listen to me, I’m sounding like a teacher now. Sorry!

        If I wanted to be REALLY pedantic, I would argue that you should have called the French top division “Ligue 1” (or “Ligue Un”) rather than League One, just to be consistent with the fact that no-one Anglicizes the names of La Liga Primera, the Bundesliga or Serie A.

        Other than that, good work and don’t let the grammar police get you down 😉

        • Daniel Feuerstein

          July 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm

          I won’t Dave C. 😉 Honestly I have always spell checked all my articles. Everyone I write I make sure everything is done. I did look up Wenger’s name before I typed it, I think my keyboard needs to be fixed.

          But other than that, I swear that I do spell check every article I write.

  10. nick

    July 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    The MLS is growing, but not at the rate of our best players which is why they are mostly playing in Europe and should be. For the moment and well into the future, the MLS will continue to grow, but it can’t soley do it without attracting some talent. A guy like Henry isn’t what he used to five to seven years ago, but 32 years of age isn’t a death sentence either. Klose scored 4 goals in South Africa at 32 years of age. The majority of the MLS cannot compete financially with the clubs of Europe. Could you get a big owner in the MLS? Yes. Could that owner buy a big player? Yes. That is a bad scenario though. It will take years for the interest of the game to get bigger and more financially sound teams so they can all afford younger Euro talent.
    For the time being, the Beckham’s and Henry’s isn’t a bad thing, it’s bringing people to the gates and watching the game. Should the MLS increase their salaries to make squads better with some Euro B talent? Yes. That will play a huge role if the US is awarded the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. I have not yet seen a Red Bulls game this year, but now with Henry I will be going…

  11. DeadDoug

    July 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    so this counts as ‘progress’ for proper football in the USA? Another WELL past his prime, former star coming to the USA to exploit the shred of remaining talent he has left? And we’re supposed to give a shit??? Sorry NY, No Care.

    As soon as MLS starts bringing in folks in their primes and yanks abroad return home to play in MLS, then we will see some progress.

    Dempsey, Howard, DeMeritt, Onyewu, etc. back in the MLS will do more than this BS Henry signing.

    • Alex

      July 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      Well said man, mls and mls clubs have a lot to fix if they want to progress. they cant just try to mirror other leagues on the surface it has to be something done starting with the roots and foundation of the league. bringing in old has been players and treating them like kings over here after they’ve been thrown out of europe and expecting us to go nuts over them is a complete disrespect towards fans. they think we’re blind. well guess what, i pay money to see my club play real football and win games. not watch some over paid pomp prance around the field doing nothing (ahem….beckham). MLS has this weird agenda, profits over perfomance. its like they dont care about the clubs they just want asses in the seats and money in their pockets. they dont care whether mls clubs do well on the pitch. they dont care that mls clubs are slugging it out just to get a 1-0 or a 1-1. they dont care that mls clubs dont win against foreign clubs and we cant win the so called champions league because hey, those clubs dont have our weird regulations like mls and they dont hire old washed up players. mls clubs arnt pressured to win, . . i know we arnt there yet to start signing premium players (like they want to come here anyway) but still our league shouldnt be turned into a retirement home. im calling it right now, henry wont do shit with NJ energy drinks

    • sergio lima

      July 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      You know. When I said that MLS needs more investment in good players, everybody try to defend the league and the teams saying they can’s afford the investment. But when they spend millions on players that had pass their prime, what they really are telling is: This guys is good enough for the kind of league you got and, at the end of the day, you suckers will pay for when buying thousand of jerseys with names od the player who will never identified himself as a legit team player from that particular organization. It is sad that a lot of well intentioned American fans will believe on such stunt. We have two options here, or does idiots know freaking nothing about soccer or their just there for the quick money.

      • sergio lima

        July 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

        I meant those idiots, of course. Me and English writing is a battle.

      • ghs

        July 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm

        Agreed. 100%. I say fire garber. Way to let a ex nfl exec. Run a soccer league. It’s all lies. Klein does have money (250 million dollars for Beckham) they just don’t want to invest anymore because they believe soccer isn’t bog enough yet. Start investing and you’ll see soccer improve. Take the cap off the growth of soccer and atop buying washed up players

        • Charles

          July 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

          I think you guys are way off base.
          First of all the $250 million number wasn’t even close to what Beckham will EARN. And he does EARN it. He was paid a salary, probably too much, as LA isn’t exactly becoming the next Seattle in terms of popularity, but away fromt that his money was a portion of the money he brought in, no ?
          Where do you think the money is coming from. no fans at games, plus no TV audience ? Jersey sales of a not well known guy ?

          NY is gambling that Henry will draw the fans and produce the money that NY has NOT had in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. We all should be hoping it works, so they DO have money in the future.

    • njndirish

      July 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      If I remember correctly, wasn’t West Ham and a few other middle of the road clubs trying to get Henry? He obviously is over the hill if Non-Big 4 EPL sides want him.

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