New York head coach Hans Backe says Thierry Henry meant no harm to FC Dallas' Kevin Hartman during their incident last week.
Getty Images

Backe says no harm intended to Hartman

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Amid all the buzz and finger-pointing surrounding the Thierry Henry-Kevin Hartman incident, the news on Monday from Dallas that  Hartman will likely miss two to three weeks is a cruel but expected blow for FC Dallas.

Hartman, who suffered a MCL sprain when he collided with Henry during the New York striker’s now infamous goal celebration, was subbed out at halftime and spent the rest of the game on the bench with an ice pack on his knee.

From his vantage point, New York head coach Hans Backe didn’t have an issue with what happened.

“There was no intent to hurt or be reckless,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “Henry is not that type of a player to do something like that to hurt someone. It was absolutely an accident.”

[inline_node:318533]Backe, who has seen the replay, said he talked with Henry about the incident but didn’t advise him to stop that particular celebration. Henry did something similar against Colorado during the Red Bulls’ 3-1 win on Sept. 11, emphatically kicking the ball into the back of the net after Dane Richards’ insurance goal.

“Often when a striker scores, it is not uncommon for the other striker to come in and kick that ball hard,” Backe said. “I’ve seen it all the time happen. It’s nothing really uncommon.”

While there was no intent to injure, Backe said that it was “very sad what happened to Hartman – unfortunate, really.”

“What I could see in the replay, Hartman went to kick the ball away after the goal and that’s when Thierry kicked it,” Backe said. “Right as [Hartman's] leg opened up, that’s when the injury happened.”

Talley Joins The Team

Carey Talley practiced with the Red Bulls for the first time on Monday. Backe said he only envisions the player as a “right fullback” and not really as a central option.

“We wanted cover at every position,” Backe said.

Hall A Possibility To Return

Jeremy Hall had an extended run in training that included both fitness and playing in small sided games Monday, his longest training session to date as he continues to rehab from injury.

“He has just five or six games left in the regular season, but maybe he can be ready to return,” Backe said.

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012


MLS LIVE now only $7.99

Decision Day presented by AT&T is Sunday. But, one thing is already decided. MLS LIVE is the best way to watch all the out-of-market action on Decision Day (October 22)*. You can watch multiple games on multiple devices or watch four games on one screen with your laptop. Subscriptions are only $7.99 (or $4.99 if you use our iOS app). *Some blackout rules apply.

MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T

Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm ET

Decision Day is the only day of the season when every team plays at the exact same time. The result is the most intense and dramatic two hours of the MLS season as teams fight for playoff positions. Watch MLS's thrilling end to the season on ESPN & MLS LIVE.

Pay As We Play!

New York Red Bulls Pay As We Play Playoff Plans, presented by New Jersey Lottery for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs are available now! Red Members have their normal seats included for up to two playoff games, but have access to additional seats through the Pay As We Play program.