UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry won’t go so far as to call new acquisition Dwayne De Rosario the team’s savior or the missing link for the offense, but he’s certainly excited about the prospect of playing with his new attacking midfielder.
“We’re trying to learn how to play with De Ro,” Henry said Thursday. “It’s easy – he's always trying to pass to the strikers.”
Henry got his first taste of what De Rosario can bring to the field last weekend after the five-time MLS Best XI selection made an instant impact upon his insertion in the second half against Houston. The Canadian international not only assisted on Dane Richards’ goal in the 47th minute, but his arrival also allowed Henry to push forward much further against the Houston back line.
Henry called him “the type of player who can make a team tick.” And the learning process for De Rosario involves learning to play alongside new teammates and, in particular, making sure that his style of play doesn’t conflict with Henry and others up top.
“I don’t want to take away space from the forwards,” De Rosario said. “I need to be mindful of my movements.”
The addition of De Rosario gives Henry a player who can hopefully feed him the ball and kick start an offense that has scored just twice in the opening three matches of the MLS season.
Although De Rosario can score goals – he’s bagged 78 of them in his MLS career, fourth among active players – he'll now be called on to be more provider than scorer.
“He’s definitely the guy going forward nine out of 10 times with his killer passes,” said head coach Hans Backe.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer