Thierry Henry Scores In Debut, But Red Bulls Fall To Spurs 2-1By: Dave Martinez | July 23rd, 2010
Thierry Henry is getting paid to score goals, and he didn’t wait very long to justify the digits on his check. Giving Spurs fans a bit of a flashback, and Red Bulls fans something to look forward to, the French legend managed to find the back of the net just 27 minutes into the game. The crowd erupted, the Spurs lamented, and Henry basked in the glow of the moment.
Finally, he has arrived.
Though his goal stole the show, Henry proved to be a thorn in the side of the Spurs defense early and often, creating an interesting threat up top with Macoumba Kandji. Just seven minutes into the game, he took advantage of a miscommunication in the defense, picking up a ball that squibbed free from the Spurs centerback Walker, creating an opportune breakaway that was denied by keeper Codicini. His passing and vision was crisp, and his form seemed spot on and ready to take on the rigors of the MLS season.
The Red Bulls as a whole had their best opportunities in the first half. Seth Stammler missed a wide open sitter which could have given his team the lead. Dane Richards laid off a perfect pass on a two on one situation, and Stammler looked unable to take a comfortable shot as the ball bounced gently off of his left foot, and stalled in place. It was harder to miss than to do what Seth did. Though play eventually leveled for both sides, New York stood tall with their first team, taking a lead to the lockerroom at the half.
Once Thierry Henry, Bouna Coundoul and a handful of others were taken off the pitch, the complexion of the game changed. The Spurs took a commanding stance from the onset, testing Greg Sutton, and forcing Bale to take on the left sided defenders. The Bulls were able to hold back the onslaught early, with Sutton coming up big on a save to keep the match in their favor. Fortunes turned in the 63rd minute, when the first of two defensive mistakes made the Bulls pay. Neither Tony Tchani nor Greg Sutton called for a ball off of a corner, which managed to flick back and find the leg of a wide open Robbie Keane, who pounced on the equalizer. Minutes later, Jeremy Hall sent an errant and ill advised header to Sutton, who was not anticipating the pass, leaving enough room for the speedy Bale to take control, and net home the winner.
Regardless of the score, something tells me most Red Bull fans won’t remember this game for the loss. For the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, Thierry Henry showcased his potential value to this organization. And that, in itself, overshadows all.
Share your thoughts on the game below.