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.
DC United 4-1 New York Red Bulls
Sunday, April 22
RFK Stadium – Washington, DC
By Kevin Mooney
After opening the 2012 MLS season with two losses on the road, the New York Red Bulls found their form and kicked off a four-match unbeaten run that saw them rise from the cellar of the Eastern Conference into second place. But despite Thierry Henry notching his eighth goal of the season, that run came to an end on Saturday night in Washington.
DC United dominated early and never looked back. Chris Pontius scored the first of his three goals in the eighth minute after stealing the ball in midfield and launching a 25-yard shot past New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara. Henry nearly evened the score for the Red Bulls twice before the half-hour mark, but his first effort went straight into the arms of the United goalkeeper and his second sailed wide of the mark.
That miss would prove costly. A minute later, Pontius pounced on a failed clearance by New York's Connor Lade and slammed it home to double United's lead. Nick Deleon effectively put the game out of reach a few minutes later when his one-time shot deflected off Red Bulls defender Marcus Holgersson and into the back of net.
New York's defensive frailties were on full display for Pontius' third of the night. The United forward picked up the ball 40 yards from goal, and wove his way past no fewer than four Red Bull defenders before slotting the ball past Meara to complete his first career hat-trick.
New York did manage to deny their long-time rivals the clean sheet in the 72nd minute. Henry's free kick from the edge of the area cleared the DC wall and curled just inside the near post for his eighth goal of the campaign - good enough to tie him for first in the MLS scoring race.
The result meant DC United leapfrogged past the Red Bulls into second place in the Eastern Conference. New York now sits third, 11 points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City and two behind DC United. The Red Bulls return home on Saturday to host New England Revolution.