UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – In mid-July, Thierry Henry scored the first goal of his New York career during the Barclays New York Challenge, redirecting a cross from Joel Lindpere to put one in the back of the net against Tottenham.
Henry pointed to the ground and mouthed to the celebrating fans at Red Bull Arena, “I’m here now,” as his teammates mobbed him.
Since then, Henry had two assists in his league debut against Houston, but he has yet see his name on the scoresheet in five MLS games. Teammate Dane Richards warns that when it finally happens, other MLS sides should “watch out, because we will be very dangerous.”
But still, are Henry's lack of goals worrisome for the Red Bulls? No, at least not to head coach Hans Backe.
“I don’t bother if that guy scores or not," Backe told MLSsoccer.com. "I will probably be happy if he doesn’t score a goal in the next two years. I don’t look at stats, I don’t care about stats.
“He sets up goals – his movement [is good]. The way he organizes the team on the pitch – when to calm down, when to get possession.”
The Red Bulls look to be in good shape to make the playoffs, holding an eight-point lead over third-place Toronto and closing in on Columbus at the top of the standings.
“I think we’re doing well as everyone learns about each other,” Richards said. “But if Thierry and Rafa [Márquez] can gel with us come playoff time – Woo! – that’s going to be tough for any team who faces us.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012