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.
NEW YORK RED BULLS 1-0 New England Revolution
Saturday, April 28
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
By Kevin Mooney
The New York Red Bulls topped their long-time rivals New England Revolution 1-0 as Thierry Henry scored his MLS-leading ninth goal of the season. The win also marked the team's first clean sheet of the season. But it came at a cost as Henry had to be helped off the pitch in the first half after injuring his hamstring.
After a disappointing performance last week against DC United, New York came flying out of the gate at Red Bull Arena. In the opening minute, Kenny Cooper released Dane Richards up the right flank and the Jamaican international burst forward before sending a low cross toward Henry. The Frenchman reached the ball first, but his toe-poke went off a Revolution player and out for a corner kick.
Seconds later, Cooper took control and burst forward up the right side. He held off a New England defender before launching a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected just wide
Still very much in control, the Red Bulls were on the attack again in the fourth minute when Henry took possession and carried the ball up the left side. His cross into the middle was cleared, but only as far as teammate Connor Lade whose half-volley from 30 yards sailed just inches over the cross bar.
New York's persistence would pay off three minutes later when Lade lobbed the ball over New England's trailing players and into the path of Henry. Twenty yards from goal, the Arsenal legend beat Revolution defender Stephen McCarthy to the ball, and with the outside of his right foot lofted a shot over Matt Reis and into the net.
Henry nearly set up a second goal for the Red Bulls in the 11th minute when he left the ball for Cooper whose long-range shot forced a big save by Reis. In the 23rd minute, the Red Bulls were again on the attack, when Henry pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be helped off the field. Early indications suggested that the player could miss three to four weeks.
Without Henry on the pitch, New England picked up a bit of steam. The visitors got their best chance of the first half in the 38th minute when Saer Sene burst past several New York defenders before he was denied by Ryan Meara.
Meara, searching for his first career shutout, made three key saves in the second half to secure the 1-0 win. In the 77th minute, he blocked a close-range header from Benny Feilbaher. Just before the end of regulation time he again got the best of Feilhaber, parrying a right-footed drive from the Brazilian-born American. Meara put a cap on his clean sheet with a diving save on a low curler by Lee Nguyen in stoppage time.
Henry's seventh minute goal put him back in sole-possession of first place in the MLS scoring race. He also leads the league in shots on goal with 19 and sits second in the league in assists.
The Red Bulls sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, trailing leaders Sporting Kansas City by eight points and DC United by two. Next weekend they travel to Southern California to take on David Beckham's LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.