WCup winners in MLS: Champs who preceded Henry
Thierry Henry is the fifth World Cup champion to join a Major League Soccer club and the fourth to feature in New York. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Branco: Known for his wicked free kicks, Branco played in MLS just three years after winning the 1994 World Cup with Brazil on US soil. He appeared in 11 matches for the MetroStars in the 1997 season under Carlos Alberto Parreira, who was the manager of that 1994 Brazil squad.
Denílson: This Brazilian attacker was a member of the 2002 World Cup winners but is more famously known for becoming the world’s most expensive soccer player after Real Betis signed him for $30 million in 1998. FC Dallas made him a Designated Player for the latter part of the 2007 campaign but he struggled mightily. Denílson scored a single goal on a penalty kick in eight regular season matches for FCD and the club decided not to bring him back.
Youri Djorkaeff: A member of the 1998 World Cup triumph alongside Henry, Djorkaeff also played for the New York Red Bulls back when they were still called the MetroStars in 2005. He scored 10 goals and had seven assists in his first season and stayed aboard in 2006 when the team rebranded as the Red Bulls. He officially retired after the team bowed out of the ’06 postseason.
Lothar Matthäus: The captain of the 1990 World Cup champions, the fiery German midfielder/defender sparked life into a MetroStars team that had struggled in the year before his arrival. His 16 matches as captain in 2000 helped the club reach the MLS postseason, where the MetroStars finished just short of an appearance in MLS Cup.