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 0-0 Sporting Kansas City
Saturday, October 20
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
By Kevin Mooney
The New York Red Bulls were the better team, but Sporting Kansas City's Danish goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen kept his league-leading 15th clean sheet to hold New York to a single point at Red Bull Arena.
New York dominated possession throughout the game and had most of the scoring opportunities. The first of the night came in the 20th minute on an Henry corner. Tim Cahill mixed things up in front of the Kansas City goal and nearly tapped the ball into the net, but Nielsen managed to pull the ball close in to stop play.
A few minutes later, the Red Bulls created two quick chances. The first came from midfielder Dax McCarty, who fired on target from the top of the D. Nielsen parried the shot into the path of Kenny Cooper, but the striker went high and missed from the tight angle.
Cooper had another opportunity in the 41st minute. His half-volley was on target, but Nielsen's reaction save kept the scoreline even.
The Red Bulls went close again just before half time. Teemu Tainio floated a long pass over the top toward goal, and Henry out-leaped his mark, but his headed effort went over the cross bar.
Match highlights courtesy of NewYorkRedBulls.com
The momentum did not change after the break. New York's first attempt came after a throw-in deep in KC territory. Right-back Conor Lade found Henry near the penalty spot, but the Frenchman's volley was blocked by Aurélien Collin just as it left Henry's foot.
Near the hour mark, Cahill carried the ball down the left flank and spotted a wide-open Henry. The pass was a bit behind the Frenchman, and he needed an extra touch which gave Nielsen time to get into position and block the subsequent shot.
Perhaps the best chance of the night came in the 65th minute. Henry faked a shot from the edge of the penalty area, and then fired a left-footed effort that Nielsen just managed to parry with his right hand. Despite failing to control the initial ball, some lucky bounces for Kansas City allowed Nielsen to finally hold on.
Red Bull goalkeeper Luis Robles was finally forced into action in the 86th minute. MLS assist leader Graham Zusi sent a long cross toward KC's top scorer Kei Kamara. Kamara's header was on target, but Robles made the key save and a defender cleared.
With the clock winding down, the Red Bulls had one final chance. But McCarty's one-time effort from the edge of the area was smothered by Nielsen.
The draw quashed New York's slim chances of winning the MLS Eastern Conference, but was enough to secure a spot in the playoffs. The Red Bulls play their final game of the regular season on Saturday on the road against Philadelphia Union.