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.
Montreal Impact 3-0 New York Red Bulls
Saturday, July 28
Stade Saputo – Montreal, QC
By Kevin Mooney
Thierry Henry scored his 11th goal of the season, but the Montral Impact got the best of the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night. The game marked the MLS debut for former Lazio and AC Milan star Alessandro Nesta.
New York picked up the first scoring opportunity of the night in the 12th minute courtesy of an Henry Free kick. Donovan Ricketts parried Kenny Cooper's header into the path of Markus Holgersson whose quick touch sent the ball over the crossbar.
The home side made their presence known in the 21st minute. Montreal's Justin Mapp sprinted up the left flank with a one-on-one opportunity against the Red Bulls' Bill Gaudette. But the veteran goalkeeper played the angles well and blocked Mapp's right-footed effort.
But the Red Bulls dominated for most of the fist half. New York created two excellent scoring cvhances in the 33rd minute when Kenny Cooper pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the six-yard box. Ricketts denied Cooper's sweeping right-footed effort, but New York managed to retain possession. Sebastien LeToux nearly scored moments later, but his header went just over the crossbar.
In the second half, however, things went very wrong for the Red Bulls. Montreal's Marco Di Vaio gave the Impact the lead just over two minutes in the second half. The former Italian international collected a pass from Mapp on the left side of the penalty area and slotted a low kick past Gaudette.
The goal marked the end a New York shutout streak that had lasted more than 200 minutes, but the next goal came much quicker. Two minutes later, Montreal doubled their lead. Davy Arnaud burst forward and picked up a leading pass from Felipe Martins and fired the ball off a diving Gaudette and into the back of the net.
Henry brought New York back to within one just before the hour mark. The Frenchman controlled Joel Lindpere's cross before chipping the ball over Ricketts and inside the near post for his 11th goal of the year.
But Montreal was still very much in control. They had a chance to put the game away in the 64th minute, when Martins picked up the ball at the top of the area with plenty of space. The Brazilian midfielder let loose, but his shot ricocheted off the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
He would redeem himself five minutes later when he picked up a pass from Di Vaio at the top of the area and fed Sanna Nyassi. The Gambian winger drew Gaudette out, played the ball to his left foot and buried the shot in the far corner to put the game out of reach.
The game ended with a Nesta challenge on Henry and the Frenchman giving the former Milan man a welcoming hug.
Despite the loss, the Red Bulls still hold a one point lead in the MLS Eastern Conference. Their next league match comes against second-place Houston Dynamo on Friday night, but not before Tottenham visits Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night.