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 2-0 Philadelphia Union
Saturday, July 21
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
By Kevin Mooney
Thierry Henry picked up an assist on one of Kenny Cooper's two goals as the New York Red Bulls earned a second-consecutive clean sheet against I-95 rivals Philadelphia Union on Saturday. The win also extended the Red Bulls' unbeaten streak at home to 10 games on the season.
The Red Bulls nearly took the lead in the 20th minute when Kenny Cooper launched a rocket from the edge of the area. Goalkeeper's fell to Sebastien LeToux, but the former Union player forced the right-footed shot and the ball flew into the stands.
Cooper put on a show of strength eight minutes later by taking on -- and shedding -- three Union defenders to the left of the goal. However, his right-footed blast was blocked by Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
As the first half was winding down, each team created good scoring opportunities, but only one would convert. In the 40th minute, Philadelphia's Josué Martinez picked up a through-ball from Michael Farfan and charged in on goal. He beat his defender but New York keeper Bill Gaudette played the angle and deflected his shot out for a corner.
Three minutes later, Conor Lade's perfectly-placed cross set up New York's first goal of the afternoon. Cooper out-leaped two Union defenders and put the Red Bulls ahead with a powerful header to the lower right corner.
The home fans were treated to some fancy footwork by Thierry Henry in the 55th minute. Looking to get on the scoresheet, the Frenchman set up his own shot with a cheeky back-heel, but he was well-covered by Amobi Okugo and his right-footed effort sailed over the crossbar.
In the 58th minute, Cooper's second goal of the game was almost carbon copy of his first. This time it was Henry who sent in the well-placed cross to the big American, who headed the ball past MacMath for his team-leading 13th of the season.
Cooper was eyeing a hat-trick as time began winding down and came close as time began winding down. But after bursting forward with only the goalkeeper to beat, MacMath easily scooped up Cooper's surprisingly tame shot from close range.
Looking to hang on to the clean sheet, New York's defense held firm in the waning minutes. Philadelphia thought they got one back, but the linesman controversially ruled Antoine Hoppenot's close range tap-in offside.
The win, combined with Sporting Kansas City's draw against New England, lifted the Red Bulls into first place in the MLS Eastern Conference. They travel to Montreal on Saturday to take on the Impact before returning to Red Bull Arena on Tuesday for a friendly against Tottenham.