After a successful loan spell in North London, Thierry Henry has begun his third season in Major League Soccer. The Arsenal legend is looking to build on his strong performances from 2011 and lead the New York Red Bulls to success as MLS kicks off its 17th season.
Each week, USA.Arsenal.com will provide a brief look at the progress of Thierry and the Red Bulls.
DC United 2-2 New York Red Bulls
Wednesday, August 29
RFK Stadium – Washington, DC
By Kevin Mooney
After missing the Red Bulls' 1-1 draw at Kansas City to be with his newborn son, Thierry Henry was back to lead the New York Red Bulls in their third and final meeting of the season against DC United. Starting up front as the lone striker, the Arsenal legend ended up as playmaker and easily could have finished the night with three assists.
His brilliant free kick from from 35 yards out almost put the Red Bulls up front early. Henry threaded the needle to find Tim Cahill in front of the goal. The former Everton man's header was on target, but United keeper Bill Hamid made the quick reaction save.
Twelve minutes later, the Frenchman picked up his eighth assist of the season on the Red Bulls' opening goal. With the Red Bulls on the attack, Conor Lade slid the ball to Henry near the center circle. Henry got creative with a one-touch pass by going to the ground and poking the ball into Joel Lindpere's path. The midfielder finished by beating Hamid on the short side.
But DC would respond quickly. Nick DeLeon pulled the home side even with a volley off of a beauty of a chip from Dwayne DeRosario. The set-up was more imppressive than the goal however, as the ball trickled past a scrambling Bill Gaudette and into the net.
With the play opening up, Henry put on a show a few minutes later. The striker stayed onside to collect an over-the-top pass from Teemu Tainio, just ahead of two DC defenders. Unable to find a good angle for the shot, Henry played the ball over his head and into the path of Dax McCarty. The midfielder went for the half-volley, but Hamid made a diving save on the admittedly tame shot.
The miss could have proven costly as midway through the second half, DC United took the lead. DeRosario beat both Markus Holgersson and Gaudette to a long ball launched by DeLeon from beyond the center line. The Canadian international timed his jump perfectly and headed it home for his 100th career MLS goal.
DC nearly put the game away in the 75th minute, but Gaudette made of for previous errors by parrying DeLeon's rocket of a shot out of harm's way.
Things looked bleak for New York, but two-and-a-half minutes from time, they found their equalizer. Wilman Conde's right-footed blast from 25 yards flew on a rope into the upper right corner.
The Red Bulls head into the international break in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference, four points behind Sporting Kansas City and two in front of Chicago Fire. Their next match is against Columbus Crew on September 15th at home.