HARRISON, N.J. – It took him six games to open the tab on his Red Bulls goal-scoring account, but Thierry Henry finally saw his name on the scorers' list after Saturday night’s 2-0 win by New York over San Jose.
“It’s been coming for a couple games [now],” Henry said of his first goal, then deflected the attention away from the significance to him to what it meant to the team. “It was very important to get that second goal [of the game].”
In the 63rd minute, midfielder Dane Richards controlled the ball near the end line and whipped in a quality cross towards the center of the penalty area. Lurking outside the box, Henry patiently waited then timed his run towards the center of the area, splitting two San Jose defenders. With a touch of his instep, Henry controlled the ball with ease.
His next touch sent the ball past Jon Busch in goal and saw him open his goal-scoring account in MLS.
Henry also had praise for Richards. The speedy Jamaican international was a handful on the flanks for San Jose and scored the game’s first goal on the stroke of halftime.
“He’s been playing like that for awhile now,” Henry said of Richards. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve been impressed with him.”
Thought it's Henry's first goal in league play – and his only strike since his goal in his Red Bulls debut against Tottenham Hotspur last month – Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe once again emphasized that Henry is more than just a goal-scorer for this team.
“Our game gets going with his movements, his passing game,” Backe said after the match. “And of course, when other teams try to close him down, it will open up space for other players.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012