Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has begun his second season with the New York Red Bulls of the MLS and USA.Arsenal.com will be tracking his progress throughout the season.
As the MLS kicks-off its 16th season, the striker is hoping to lead the Red Bulls to their first first-ever MLS Cup.
Each week, we’ll provide a brief look at the Arsenal legend’s performances for the Red Bulls.
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Seattle SOunders
Saturday, March 19
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
Thierry Henry and his Red Bull teammates kicked off the season at home against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. After a disappointing end to the 2010 season, The New York Red Bulls regrouped and have emerged as one of the favorites to win the 2011 title.
With the departure of Juan Pablo Angel to the LA Galaxy, Henry picked up a new strike partner in 18-year-old Juan Agudelo, as well as a new role – as team captain.
To the delight of an energized crowd at Red Bull Arena, it took only four minutes for Henry to get his first scoring opportunity. The Frenchman scuffed his shot but still had enough on it to force a diving save by Seattle keeper Kasey Keller.
Four minutes later, Henry created another chance when he found Agudelo behind the Seattle defense in the eighth minute. The Colombian-born U.S. international drew contact from Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and the referee pointed to the spot. Henry stepped up to take the kick, but his low drive was tipped aside by Keller.
The score line remained even deep into the second half when midfielder Teemu Tainio released Agudelo with a long pass up the middle. The striker managed shrug off a challenge from Seattle’s Leonardo Gonzalez, and fired a right-footed shot past Keller for his first MLS goal.
In the dying minutes, Seattle had one a glorious chance to equalize when they were awarded a free kick just outside the area. Mauro Rosales tapped the ball to Fredy Monteiro, who’s rocket was saved by Sutton.
The win sets up a key early-season clash against Eastern Conference rival Columbus Crew next week in Ohio.