On a blistering summer day in which temperatures reached triple digits, Thierry Henry helped the New York Red Bulls put out the Fire in front of 15,814 spectators at Red Bull Arena. The intense heat was not enough to stop Henry from making his mark on the game. After missing six games with injury, the Frenchman got back on track when he settled a Sebastien Le Toux cross and fired a left-footed blast past goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 71st minute. It was Henry’s 10th goal of the season and his first since scoring April 28 against New England.
The stunning goal was all New York needed as they dominated from start to finish while enjoying 61% possession and managing four shots on goal against Chicago. The suspect defense of the Red Bulls held firm today to preserve a shutout for goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, just the fourth time this year that New York did not allow a goal in MLS play. The win breaks a three-game winless streak and propels the team into second place, just one point behind Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference.
New York’s next opponent will be the Philadelphia Union who come into the game coming off a 2-1 victory against the Montreal Impact. Henry and Company will look to build on today’s game and make it two wins in a row against their bitter rival.
Seeing Henry’s goal in person was amazing. It was the goal of a world-class player who knows how to finish in difficult positions. Other than Henry’s spectacular performance, several other Red Bull players impressed. Mehdi Ballouchy was a stabilizing force in the center of midfield, linking up with Le Toux and Henry. Wilman Conde was solid in the center of defense and played a big role in preserving the shutout. Substitute Connor Lade also impressed, bringing a great deal of energy to the team on a scorching day. His tireless work ethic and blazing speed helped set up New York’s goal and ultimately provided the spark that the team needed. Overall, a very good game for the Red Bulls who needed a win today. They dominated for most of the game, created many chances, and they finally played well enough in defense to win a game. Hopefully Henry has more in store for next game when the team faces the Philadelphia Union.