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 4-1 Colorado Rapids
Sunday, March 25
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
By Kevin Mooney
After two road losses to start the season - and only one goal - the New York Red Bulls hoped their first home game of 2012 would give them a belated kick-start. Four goals later, and they handed the Colorado Rapids their first loss of the season.
Thierry Henry led the way with two goals and an assist and strike partner Kenny Cooper also added a brace in victory. It was a dominating win in front of a raucous crowd that included around 1,000 Arsenal fans who were there for a special event with the NYC Arsenal Supporters.
The crowd did not have to wait long to honor the Arsenal legend. In the third minute, Henry pounced on a poor pass by Ross LaBauex deep in Colorado territory. He took a few strides, cut left, and easily tucked the ball past Matt Pickens for his first goal of the season.
Before Colorado had a chance to respond, Henry created another. The Frenchman released Cooper with a pass into the penalty area and the American striker fired home a low shot just inside the far post.
Colorado nearly got back into the game just before the half. Wilman Conde fouled Colorado's Tony Cascio just outside the penalty area, but Cascio's free-kick sailed just over the cross bar.
New York would continue to dominate play in the second half. In the 54th minute Henry beat the onside trap and controlled a long Conde free-kick in the penalty area before finishing with his right foot to put his side up 3-0.
The Rapids finally made an impression in the 77nd minute when former Barcelona star Rafa Marquez lost possession in his own end. Omar Cummings picked up the loose ball and chipped a shot from just outside the penalty area to deny New York the clean sheet.
But New York wasn't finished. Just before the end of regulation Cooper tapped home a low Roy Miller cross from close range for his second of the game. Henry nearly picked up a hat-trick, but his left-footed effort was scooped up by Pickens in the dying seconds.
The win lifted New York into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, six points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City. The Red Bulls next match is Saturday, March 31 at home against the expansion Montreal Impact.