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 HousTon Dynamo
Friday, August 10
Red Bull Arena – Harrison, NJ
By Kevin Mooney
The Eastern Conference title race heated up with the second game of a home-and-home between The New York Red Bulls and first-place Houston Dynamo. After dropping the first leg in Houston by a score of 2-0, the Red Bulls were looking to grab sole posession of first place with a win.
New York's first chance came in the 10th minute when Pierce fed a long pass from the center line through to Kenny Cooper on the edge of the area. Rather than thread a pass to an open Henry, Cooper centered the ball and Dynamo defender Jermaine Taylor made a big block to keep the score at 0-0.
Four minutes later Macoumba Kandji gave Houston their first big chance of the first half. The Senegalese forward beat Conor Lade and with a quick step-over blew past Marcus Holgersson, but his right-footed effort could only find the side netting.
Henry had a chance to put the Red Bulls ahead at the half-hour mark when he picked up a through ball from Joel Lindpere. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Henry slowed down and aimed for the far post, but his shot was parried wide for a corner kick.
Still searching for the first goal of the night, Holgersson chipped a pass over the top toward Henry in the 54th minute. Henry won the header and set up recent signing Tim Cahill. The former Everton man controlled the ball with one touch, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
The Red Bulls finally took the lead just after the hour mark when Roy Miller floated pass in front of the goal. Cahill was the first player to the ball and headed it down into the path of Holgersson who tapped it home.
Ten minutes later Kandji had another chance to get Houston on the board. Sitting behind the Red Bulls' defense, the forward got his shot off and beat New York keeper Bill Gaudette, but was wide of the mark.
Desperately seeking the equalizer, Houston's Corey Ashe let loose from 18 yards, but his powerful shot careened off the crossbar.
Houston poured on the pressure for the rest of the game, but the Red Bulls haled firm and put the game away in the final minutes. Cahill released Henry on the left side and the Frenchman, completely unmarked, burst forward forcing Houston's goalkeeper to play the ball. Henry made the easy pass to Jan Gunnar Solli who tapped it in giving Henry his 7th assist of the season.
The win temporarily lifted New York back into first in the MLS Eastern Conference. The next day the Red Bulls found themselves two points behind Sporting Kansas City win the next day after their 2-1 win over DC United. But with 10 games remaining in the regular seaosn, the Red Bulls are firmly in the race for both the conference crown and the MLS Supporters Shield for best record in the league.
Next up for New York is a vist by the Western Conference's bottom club Portland Timbers on Sunday.